Merja obtained her PhD in 2006 in Finland in the area of cancer research then relocated to Australia to do post doctoral research at University of Queensland. She has been working both in academia and industry in various fields and has extensive knowledge in molecular biology and immunology. She has published several articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and has a passion to liaise academia and industry together in order to develop products and solutions to improve animal wellbeing. In her role as Scientific Director, she leads research in canine allergy immunotherapy and parasitological immunology. She is a cat person, but is developing soft spot for dogs as well.