Staff profile - Sarah Shigdar

Staff image

Dr Sarah Shigdar

Position: Lecturer In Medical Science
Faculty or Division: Faculty of Health
Department: School of Medicine
Campus: Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus
Phone: +61 3 522 72846 +61 3 522 72846



  • Bachelor of Science (Biological Science), University of Wolverhampton, 1995
  • Doctor of Philosophy, Deakin University, 2009

Professional activities

President International Society of Aptamers 2016 -


Subjects and units currently teaching

HMM101 Introduction to Medical Biotechnology

HMM304 Therapeutic Development

HMH401 Developing Research Skills

Knowledge areas



Awards and prizes

Smart Geelong Awards - Researcher of the Year 2011 – Population Health and Lifestyle - 'Establishing a Platform for the Generation of RNA Missiles Targeting Cancer Initiating Cells'

Smart Geelong Awards - Early Career Researcher of the Year 2013 - 'Getting the brain to take its medicine – development of a smart platform to treat tumour metastases'


Research projects

Aptamers as theranostic agents

Getting the brain to take its medicine

Research interests

Dr Shigdar is focused on the development of aptamers, also known as chemical antibodies, for their use in both diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Dr Shigdar's main focus is on the use of aptamers for the treatment of neurological disorders - brain cancers, brain metastases, and neurodegenerative disorders

Research grants


Royal College Pathologists Australia: Christine Qian, Sarah Shigdar, Wei Duan. Development of  a  novel  chemical  antibody-based  method  for detection  of  cancer  stem  cells  in formalin fixed and paraffin-embedded tissue sections $5000


MMR SRC CRGS near miss: Establishment of an RNA aptamer-based cancer initiating cell targeting nanomedicine platform $5000

SoM MMR SRC New Investigator Award $10000

Deakin University Independent Researcher Equipment seed funding $10000

Smart Geelong Early Career Researcher of the Year $2000

CASS Foundation Travel Grant $5000

Cross-Faculty Research Grant: Dr Wenrong Yang, Prof. Colin Barrow, Dr. Da Li, Prof. Wei Duan, Prof. Johnson Mak and Dr. Sarah Shigdar. Aptamers Functionalised Carbon Nano-Colloids for Targeted Anticancer Therapies.  $30000



CRGS Sarah Shigdar, Wei Duan. Getting the brain to take its medicine $27900
CRGS Dejan Bursac, Ming Kalanon, Sarah Shigdar, Tania de Koning-Ward. Discovery of novel markers on the surface of Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes $24000
SRC Cancer Theme: Sarah Shigdar $20000
SRC SLS Lab funding $5000
SRC Neuro/Visual Theme: Sarah Shigdar $10000



CRGS Sarah Shigdar, Wei Duan Targeting brain metastases – assessing the effects of aptamer-directed chemotherapy on neuronal cells $21790

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