My main research interests are understanding the genetic basis of blood cell disorders and developing therapeutic genome engineering systems for these disorders. Disorders such as lack (anaemia) or too much of (leukaemia) blood cells and defects in blood cell functions, affects wellbeing of people from all backgrounds and ages. They represent a significant global health challenge because treatments are either very expensive or unavailable, particularly in the developing world. 

I began my career as a veterinary clinician in Nigeria, before completing a PhD under Prof. Graham Lieschke at the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute. My PhD thesis, “Zebrafish models for studying cell autonomous functions of neutrophils and macrophages”, details new zebrafish CRISPR-Cas9 systems and nuclear reporter lines that uses synthetic guide RNA for lineage-specific in vivo gene editing. 

Working with Associate Professor Andrew Deans and members of the Genome Stability Unit at SVI, I am developing therapeutic in vivo genome engineering systems for preventing blood cell disorders, with the overall aim of improving health and wellbeing of people.

Key achievements

2022   Graduate Research Completion Award

2019-2022   Monash Graduate Scholarship; Monash International Postgraduate Research Scholarship

2009   Veterinary Council of Nigeria; Veterinary Licence


Selected publications

Isiaku, A. I., Zhang, Z., Pazhakh, V., Manley, H. R., Thompson, E. R., Fox, L. C., Yerneni, S., Blombery, P. and Lieschke, G. J. (2021). Transient, flexible gene editing in zebrafish neutrophils and macrophages for determination of cell-autonomous functions. Disease Models & Mechanisms 14(7).

Ratnayake, D., Nguyen, P. D., Rossello, F. J., Wimmer, V. C., Tan, J. L., Galvis, L. A., Julier, Z., Wood, A. J., Boudier, T., Isiaku, A. I. Berger, S., Oorschot, V., Sonntag, C., Rogers, K. L., Marcelle, C., Lieschke, G. J., Martino, M. M., Bakkers, J., and Currie, P. D. (2021). Macrophages provide a transient muscle stem cell niche via NAMPT secretion. Nature 591(7849), 281-287.

Mizoguchi, Y., Hesse, S., Linder, MI., Csaba, G., Tatematsu, M., Lyszkiewicz, M., Ziȩtara, N., Jeske, T., Hastreiter, M., Rohlfs, M., Liu, Y., Grabowski, P., Ahomaa, K., Maier, D., Schwestka, M., Pazhakh, V., Isiaku, A. I, Miranda, B.B., Blombery, P., Saito, M.K., Rusha, E., Alizadeh, Z., Pourpak, Z., Kobayashi, M., Rezaei, N., Unal, E., Hauck, F., Drukker, M., Walzog, B., Rappsilber, J., Zimmer, R., Lieschke, G.J and Klein, C (2023). Human genetic defects in SRP19 and SRPRA cause severe congenital neutropenia with distinctive proteome changes. Blood 141 (6) 645-658.