Our people

Operations team

Pictured back row from left: Darrell Smith, Nick Walshe, Elliott Caldwell, Mike Zablocki and Tim Dallas. Front Row from left: Lucy Pearce, Ilse Potes Morales, Gabrielle Dennis, Apii Ulberg and Marie Armstrong.

The goal of the Malaghan Institute's Operations Team is to provide an environment in which scientific breakthroughs will happen.  Our infrastructure, technologies and people must remove any obstacles and give our researchers all the tools they need in their vital work.


Mike Zablocki is our General Manager, responsible for commercial activity and managing the functions that support our research teams. Mike is also involved in the Institute's strategic management and relishes the challenge of constantly improving a top quality organisation.

Darrell Smith is our Facilities Manager. One day he might be oiling a squeaky office chair, the next day designing and overseeing the construction of a $5 million laboratory.

Tim Dallas is our Assistant Facilities Manager. Tim supports in keeping the Institute facilities running. No matter if it is a flickering light, an alarming fridge or new laboratory equipment set up, Tim is the man to deal with it.

Marie Armstrong is our IT Manager. She has oversight of our IT and communications infrastructure.

Elliot Caldwell is our IT Support Technician. He supports keeping the IT and communications infrastructure up and running and also takes care of end-user support for our computer systems.

Gabrielle Dennis has been with the Institute for nearly a quarter of a century, so she has seen it all! Gabrielle is the heart and soul of our Research Office, responsible for managing our research grants and liaising with funding bodies. She is also our Human Resources Officer, dealing with all staff requirements from work contracts through to travel arrangements.

Nick Walshe is our Human Resources and Contract Advisor. He is the first point of contact when it comes to recruitment or any other employment related matters.

Lee Chappell is the first person to greet most of our visitors. He also is responsible for our purchase orders and kindly oversees the carpark. There is never a dull moment in Lee’s work day.

Ilse Potes Morales is PA to our Director, Professor Graham Le Gros and to our General Manager, Mike Zablocki. She always finds a free slot in everyone's calendar and knows how to shift things around.

Apii Ulberg has been managing all the behind the scenes work that goes into ensuring the Institute always looks its best since 2004.  Described as the 'oil and glue' of the Institute, her dedication, helpfulness and sunny disposition are a constant example for us all.

Lucy Pearce is our Technology Transfer Officer. She supports translation and commercialisation of the Institute’s research and ensures that our scientific discoveries will make an impact on human health.

Kathleen Martsch is our Communications and Marketing Manager. She runs all internal and external communications, oversees our social media activities and is the first point of contact for any media requests.