Dr Sally Wasef

Profile image of Dr Sally Wasef

Faculty of Health,
School of Biomedical Sciences

Personal details


Research Fellow in Forensic Genomics
Faculty of Health,
School of Biomedical Sciences


  • Doctor of Philosophy (Griffith University)


I am especially passionate about developing remarkable student experiences and creating opportunities for the exceptional postgraduate scholars we continue to attract through our high-profile research. The research and laboratory skills I acquired over the past 12 years have allowed me to teach successfully in Nursing, Forensic Sciences, Archaeology and Molecular Microbiology. I also have considerable teaching expertise as a lecturer of various courses (e.g. Archaeology, Forensics, Microbiology) and have achieved high student satisfaction ratings (GU SETs ~ 4.9/5). I enjoy teaching and supporting students through their academic journeys. Through the 18 courses I taught and convened between 2018 and 2021, I redesigned the courses’ structure, lecture contents, and laboratory case studies to ensure university science graduates are highly trained and 'job ready' and accommodate the online teaching challenges in the COVID-19 era. The main goals I strived to achieve through teaching were developing the Forensic and Bioscience programs’ skills, providing work-integrated learning opportunities for undergraduate students under my supervision through internships, casual work, appropriate training for graduates, and creating relevant student research projects.

Highly positive student feedback is reflected in the below narrative comments that support the high satisfaction and quality evaluations of my teaching. Examples of student feedback about my teaching ability over the last three years include:

  • Sally made this course super easy and super interesting. I did not have any prior microbiology subjects, but Sally made everything really easy to understand and always had time to help students if they needed it. She's very approachable and incredibly passionate about what she does, which makes what could be a really difficult class very easy and really fun. I would pick any subject that Sally taught, due to how fantastic she has made this course!
  • Sally went above and beyond to help students, even replying to emails at 8pm on a Sunday. What a trooper. She was patient and kind, even if the questions I asked were probably face-palmingly stupid. She clearly cared about the students and even arranged a time to talk to me when I was having trouble with an assignment. Teaching in the time of COVID is rough, especially since she can't get visual feedback from other students during lectures.
  • Sally is an awesome teacher! She was so helpful when I was struggling with my bioinformatics, and she was always easily contactable and available. She explained the course content simply and in a way that was easy to understand.”

I was awarded the Griffith University Head of School recommendation for three consecutive years between 2019 and 2021 to achieve more than 4.9 out of 5 in the Student Experience of Teaching in the Techniques in Molecular Microbiology course (3020NSC) that I taught and convened. The 3020NSC course is for 3rd-year students. I developed and delivered six lectures, six "hands-on" laboratory-based identification and characterisation of microorganisms using up to date advanced molecular biology techniques, and two bioinformatics laboratory sessions to analyse and understand sequencing results. As a course convenor, I was responsible for content development, providing lectures, and updating and modifying laboratory protocols. I redesigned the assessments for this course to include a critical evaluation of the published research seminar presentation. For the 15 minutes seminar, the students were asked to choose and present a research paper looking into identifying microbial contaminants in wastewater and critically evaluating the components of that research. I have redesigned the contents and developed the quiz questions to be delivered remotely using different online platforms and marking all assessments within the course using Turnitin and the Mark Center.

Additionally, I taught several Forensic courses from first-year undergraduates to third, and graduate students. I developed and delivered lectures and tutorials about DNA in forensics, PCR, and other techniques. I introduced first-year students to new topics such as ancient DNA, why to study aDNA, and case studies where aDNA was used to solve a mystery in an ancient crime scene. In 2019, I developed the aDNA module in the Perspectives on Human Evolution course. Teaching this element of the discipline is only offered at GU and is one of only two taught around Australia. I designed the content of this syllabus to be a mix of lectures, workshops, and hands-on activities, to engage students through active learning. This course encourages students to participate in the human evolution journey concerning the peopling of Australia.

Moreover, I helped develop and taught the third-year forensic students a course focusing on the setup and requirements of a NATA accredited forensic DNA laboratory. While teaching Paleogenetics to forensics and genetics students, I took some ancient remains to the lectures as learning activity tools. These props helped connect the students with the nature of our research work and problems we might face in real life carrying such studies. Students were very much engaged in such activities, and it elevated the chances of future discussions about potential postgraduate research in the field.

I have also mentored two PhD students and supervised six honour students to completion between 2018 to 2021.

Selected publications

QUT ePrints

To find publications by Sally, visit QUT ePrints, the University's research repository.