Jessica Kretzmann

Origami Chemist

Jessica’s research focuses on the design and evaluation of new materials for delivery of gene therapies. These therapies have the potential to revolutionise treatment of diseases (like cancer) avoiding the side-effects of traditional chemotherapy. Currently there are no safe and efficient methods to get these therapies inside diseased cells: Jessica has developed a new material for gene delivery, demonstrating highly efficient delivery of genome editing tools in breast cancer models. Recently, Jessica developed methods where gene therapeutics are folded into defined nanoparticle shapes, using a technique called ‘DNA origami”.

Jessica completed her PhD degree from the University of Western Australia. Now, as a Forrest Fellow, Jessica is establishing DNA origami as a research hub within WA.

Spending time growing up in rural Western Australia, Jessica learnt first-hand how beneficial outreach programs are for science education and has passionately pursued outreach programs for local and rural students. Jessica has been involved in programs such as Science Café, Education Lab and Ignite Mentoring. As the Australian Nanotechnology Network Young Ambassador, Jessica has established educational experiments for students, and travelled to rural schools.

In her free time, Jessica’s favourite place to be is anywhere remote, where there is no phone signal, whether in the eucalyptus forests of Australia’s South West, or up in the Dampier Archipelago.