Dr Macdonald is the co-developer of a DNA computer that plays a game of tic-tac-toe interactively against a human opponent. She also developed an antidote to cocaine, now in Phase III clinical trials for the treatment of cocaine overdose. Dr Macdonald is jointly appointed as Senior lecturer in Molecular Engineering at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland (Australia)and an Assistant Professor in Clinical Medical Sciences at Colombia University in New York City (USA).
With a PhD in virology from the University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia), her current research portfolio includes the development of novel biosensors that operate autonomously because the molecules themselves power the device. She is applying her novel technology for the detection of viruses such as Hendra and Ebola, as well as mosquito transmitted diseases such as Dengue, Malaria, Chikungunya and Zika.