Our Team

Alice Rykers
Alice Rykers

Technical Manager

Alice holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science from the Auckland University of Technology majoring in Haematology, Immunology, Clinical Chemistry and Molecular Diagnostics. Working at the Auckland Regional Biobank as a technician for 3.5 years, she has gained valuable experience with regards to the operations and running of a Biobank which she brings to her role as Technical Manager. With interest in enabling researchers with their collections, she enjoys the challenges that go alongside the role. She is primarily responsible for the overall operation the Auckland Regional Biobank.

Peter Browett

Peter Browett

Clinical Director

Peter is a consultant haematologist at Auckland City Hospital and Professor of Pathology in the Department of Molecular Medicine and Pathology, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland. He is a graduate of the University of Otago Medical School, and after postgraduate training in clinical and laboratory haematology in Auckland, he was a Wellcome – HRC research fellow in the Department of Haematology, Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London. Peter is involved in several co-operative group and investigator initiated studies in blood disorders and stem cell transplantation. He is co-director of the Leukaemia and Blood Cancer Research Unit, with interests in blood cancer genomics, biomarkers in leukaemia, and the monitoring of measurable residual disease. Peter is Clinical director of the Auckland Regional Biobank, and Grafton Clinical Genomics.

Cris Print

Cris Print

Chair Scientific Advisory Board

Cris graduated in Medicine in 1989 then completed PhD in the University of Auckland. After a four-year postdoctoral fellowship in Melbourne, Cris spent six years in Cambridge University, UK, where he was a Fellow of St Edmunds College. While there he co-founded a bioinformatics biotechnology company that became listed on the Tokyo stock exchange in 2007. He leads a cross-disciplinary research team of clinicians, biologists and data scientists who use genomics bioinformatics to better understand human disease, especially cancer. Cris sits on the Board of Directors of the NZ Institute of Environmental Science and Research and is Vice President of the Auckland Branch of the Royal Society of NZ. He leads the Genomics Into Medicine Strategic Research Initiative in Auckland and Chairs the Auckland Regional Biobank Scientific Advisory Board.

Charney Marais

Charney Marais

Biobank Technician

Charney holds a Master’s degree in Biological Sciences with a focus on Biochemistry and Structural Biology from the University of Auckland. Prior to the Biobank, Charney worked in various technical roles within different  laboratory settings. She has experience in both diagnostic Microbiology and Histology as well as clinical experience gained from working in a Clinical Research laboratory. She also has administrative and editorial experience from working for an international scientific publisher. Apart from daily operations, collections and processing, she is the point of contact for the Biobank with regards to maintaining laboratory stock and ordering.

Aparajita Chatterjee

Aparajita Chatterjee

Biobank Technician

Aparajita holds a Master of Research degree from the University College London, UK. With a background in neuroscience, her journey with biobanking began at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience, collecting biospecimens for research and handling the daily operations of the Human Brain Bank. She has a special interest in histopathology related to neurodegenerative diseases and has worked in Molecular Medicine and Pathology and Histology at the University of Auckland prior to moving to the Auckland Regional Biobank. Solving complex logistical and technical challenges and a ‘patients first’ approach are strengths that Aparajita brings to the Auckland Regional Biobank. As a Biobank technician, Aparajita has a responsibility of monitoring and supporting the database management biobanking software in addition to scheduling the timing of biospecimen collection. Aparajita is passionate about bringing her technical skills to the Biobank and enthusiastic about communicating the value of Biobanking as a pathway for improved research, leading to better treatment options for patients.

Frances Biggins

Frances Biggins

Biobank Technician

Frances holds a MSc. in Biomedical Science, specialising in Cellular Pathology. She is a NZ and UK registered Medical Laboratory/Biomedical Scientist with over 25 years’ experience working in private and public sector diagnostic histopathology laboratories in the UK, NZ, Ireland and Saudi Arabia. She has also spent time as a Research Technician in the Centre for Brain Research at the University of Auckland, investigating receptor mapping in human brain stem in relation to neurodegenerative conditions, specifically, Huntington’s disease. Frances has an interest in post materialistic science and the study of consciousness.

Farqad Abdulqader

Farqad Abdulqader

Biobank Technician

Farqad is a qualified medical and health science professional, seasoned research technician, and professional Histology technician, she is passionate about utilizing her medical and scientific knowledge with like-minded professionals and researchers. Farqad holds a Master’s degree in Medical Science (Anatomy) and a Doctoral degree in Liver Cirrhosis from the University of Malaya (Malaysia). Prior to coming to New Zealand, she had more than 10 years of teaching experience in medical, health science, and laboratory settings at the tertiary level and more than 4 years’ experience as a research technician and teaching assistant in the Department of Anatomy & Medical Imaging and as Histology Technician within the technical service department at the University of Auckland. A part of consenting, collection, and processing in ARB, Farqad is the Designated Laboratory Person in ARB who ensures all consumables and materials are purchased and stocked appropriately to meet planned activities and undertake inventory functions in line with standard operational procedures and in conjunction with the technical manager.

Nancy Ajay

Nancy Ajay

Biobank Technician

Nancy holds Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science in Medical Laboratory Technology and has specialization in Clinical Microbiology. She has more than 8 years of experience in Research and Diagnostic Laboratories in India as well as Dubai. In New Zealand, she has worked as a Scientist and Laboratory Supervisor in the areas of Analytical Chemistry and Functional Medicine. Nancy has special interest in Holistic medicine and Clinical Microbiology.