A/Professor Vickers holds dual roles as Director of the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform at CSIRO and Group Leader in the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland (UQ).
She completed her PhD in cereal crop biotechnology at CSIRO Plant Industry and UQ in 2004. She held post – doctoral and Visiting Scientist positions at Essex and Lancaster Universities in the UK 2004 – 2007, where se worked on abiotic stress and metabolic regulation and physiological function of volatile isoprenoids in plants.
She returned to UQ in 2007, joining the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology to expand her research program into microbial metabolic engineering . Since then she has headed a group focussed on converting agricultural biomass to industrially – useful biochemicals using advance synthetic and systems biology approaches. Target compounds sit in the isoprenoid group of natural products, and include jet fuel, plant hormones for agriculture applications, food additives (flavours, colours, etc.) fragrances and pharmaceuticals.
Since January 2017 A/Professor Vickers has held a joint appointment with the Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO) to lead the CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform (SynBioFSP), a $30 million research and development programme aimed ay expanding Australia’s capability in synthetic biology. She is also on the Executive Synthetic Biology Australia as immediate Past President