Professor Vickers is Director of the Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform at CSIRO (Australia’s national research agency). The CSIRO SynBioFSP is a highly collaborative R&D program aimed at expanding Australia’s synthetic biology capability and ultimately developing a synthetic biology-based industry in the nation.
Professor Vickers’ early research interests spanned crop plant engineering, plant physiology, abiotic stress and the metabolic regulation of volatile isoprenoids. Over the last decade, she has focussed on metabolic regulation of isoprenoids in plants and microbes, and on developing synthetic biology tools for rational re-engineering of microbial metabolism for production of isoprenoids. Isoprenoids (terpenes) are a large group of natural products with many biological functions and diverse industrial applications.
Professor Vickers was founding President of Synthetic Biology Australia and served on the expert working groups for Australia’s national synthetic biology roadmap (delivered by the Australian Council of Learned Academies) and the Australian government NCRIS Synthetic Biology Infrastructure Investment Plan. She is also a Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) Fellow and represents Australia at international strategy and policy fora (US, Asia-Pacific, OECD, World Economic Forum). She sits on the Scientific Advisory Boards for Concordia Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology Synthetic Biology Institute and is on the Executive Committee of the International Society for Isoprenoids/Terpenes (TERPNET). She serves on editorial boards for eight international journals, including as a handing editor for ACS Synthetic Biology and ASM mSystems. She has Adjunct Professor roles at Queensland University of Technology and Griffith University, and supervises PhD students and the University of Queensland.
Professor Vickers is experienced in working across disciplinary boundaries and has worked with a wide variety of industry partners.