Therese Seldon

Therese Seldon has gone on from UQ to become the Director of Product Development of an international biosciences company that develops products to improve the care of critically ill hospital patients. 

During her Biotechnology Honours program, Therese took advantage of the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences’ industry placement program to complete part of her honours project at PanBio (now Alere), a Brisbane biotechnology company.

“I chose UQ because the program offered intellectual rigor, ‘real-world’ research and industry connections,” says Therese.

“The honours placement gave me an applied research experience that aligned well with my career aspirations.”

Therese proceeded to complete a UQ PhD at the Mater Medical Research Institute (now part of the Translational Research Institute). She selected an applied research project involving the engineering of antibodies for immunotherapy.

“UQ was committed to tailoring the program to suit my individual needs,” says Therese.

“For example, I studied at the UQ Business School to obtain a Graduate Certificate in Technology and Innovation Management while completing my PhD. This course enabled me to learn about commercialising science and identifying the real-world applications of my research.”

A member of the student chapter of industry association, AusBiotech, during her studies, Therese won an AusBiotech Student Excellence Award and went on to win a UniQuest Trailblazer Student Award and a Women in Technology PhD Career Start Award, along with a number of scholarships.

She obtained funds to complete a two-month research project at the University of California.

“This project was a tremendous professional experience – expanding my network of contacts, enhancing the quality of my thesis and ultimately helping land a job in the US,” she says.

Towards the end of her PhD, Therese was offered a research scientist job with CSL Ltd in the Antibody Technologies Division in Melbourne.

She also attended the Summer Institute for Entrepreneurship (now the Stanford Ignite Program) at Stanford University, funded by UQ.

“From this experience, I realised my future lay in working as part of a small, dynamic team seeking to solve global healthcare challenges,” she says.

“Consequently, in 2012, I joined Immunexpress, a start-up diagnostics company with a technology that promises to revolutionise healthcare delivery to patients with infection, inflammation and sepsis around the world.”

“Networking is very important in biotechnology,” continues Therese. “I met my current boss, Dr Roz Brandon (also a UQ alumnus) at an AusBiotech industry event. Roz is an exceptional scientist, entrepreneur and mentor.”

Therese enjoys the challenge and fast-paced environment of commercialisation and aspires to continue to work across a range of leadership roles and science-based ventures in the future.

When asked if she has any advice to offer to students wanting to follow a path similar to hers, Therese responds, “Seek out opportunities at every turn – there are plenty to be found at UQ.”


Bachelor of Biotechnology (Honous)