SCIENTIFIC TEAM

Professor Luis Vitetta

Director of Medical Research

Luis Vitetta Portrait

Luis Vitetta is Director of Medical Research at Medlab and Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, Sydney Medical School.

Luis's expertise includes probiotics, the human biome, nutraceuticals, nutrition, clinical trials, epidemiology', integrative and complementary medicine.

Between 2007-2013 Luis was the Director and Associate Professor of the Centre for Integrative Clinical and Molecular Medicine at The University of Queensland, School of Medicine. Luis is an Honours Graduate from Monash University (1981) in the Department of Biochemistry - Faculty of Medicine, and a PhD Graduate from the University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine's Department of Surgery (1985) where he studied the epidemiological and aetiological factors of biliary disease. He has also studied medicine at the National University of La Plata Medical School in his native Argentina.

Luis was the chief investigator and the recipient of a National Institute of Complementary Medicine grant for the NICM Collaborative Centre for Transitional/Preclinical and Clinical Research in Nutraceuticals and Herbal Medicines.

Luis was a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine, Epworth Medical Centre in Melbourne.

Between the years of 2000-2005 Luis was the Deputy Head and Director of Research of the Graduate School of Integrative Medicine at Swinburne University, where he assisted in implementing post graduate courses for medical graduates in the areas of nutrition and environmental medicine and integrative medicine. He has served as a member of the Cancer Council's epidemiology group, has been an alternate director of the Victorian Public Health Research and Education Council and a member of its research committee. He was a member of the executive board of the Australian Research Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. He was also an honorary affiliate with the Department of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University.

Earlier appointments include Senior Research Associate with the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Medicine - Centre for Palliative Care at Caritas Christi Hospice and St Vincent's Hospital and a University of Melbourne Research Fellow with the Faculty of Medicine and the Department of Surgery at the Austin and Repatriation Medical Centre.

Professor Vitetta has research interests in nutrition, functional foods and immune function, as well as Mind Body Medicine. He was the first internationally funded Australian researcher investigating Chinese Herbal Medicines in a trial with HIV patients. He is frequently invited to speak at local and international conferences.

Dr Rachel Manuel

Senior Research Scientist

Rachel Manuel Portrait

Rachel Manuel completed a PhD in 2013 from the University of Claude Bernard, Lyon (France). She examined the implication of a collagen-derived fragment in tumour growth and angiogenesis regulation. Her present research work at Medlab focuses on the in vitro effects of probiotic strains. The purpose of this research is to examine their ability to restore the integrity of the gut epithelial barrier, which is impaired in patients with chronic kidney disease.


Dr Joyce Yusi Zhou

Senior Research Scientist (Microbiology)

Joyce Zhou Portrait

Joyce Yusi Zhou has a PhD in Chemical and Biomedical Engineering from the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Her research area focused on metabolome and proteome analysis of bacterial response to antimicrobial peptides. Joyce also holds a Master of Science in Food and Nutrition and Bachelor of Science in Biotechnology. Her current research at Medlab focuses on the metabolomics of probiotics and other bacteria.


Talia Palacios

Postdoctoral candidate

Talia Palacios Portrait

Talia is a PhD candidate at the University of Sydney. She holds a Bachelor degree in Science, Bachelor degree in Psychology and a Master degree in Dietetics from the University of San Francisco de Quito (Ecuador). Talia has 10 years of experience in clinical practice. Her current research area of interest is the relationship between the microbiome and obesity-related disorders. Her PhD involves evaluating the efficacy of an evidence-based multi-strain probiotic on metabolic biomarkers in obese adults with pre-diabetes and recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.