Researcher biography

I am a basic science researcher with training in cell biology, genetics and research translation. My research investigates the female reproductive system by focusing on the contribution of individual cells. I aim to understand the influence of genetic architecture, differentiation and maturation on these individual cells and how this contributes to changes in the microenvironment that can contribute to disease initiation and progression.

After the completion of my PhD in 2008 at the University of Queensland, I undertook post-doctoral studies at the University of Bern, Department of Biomedical Research (DBMR), focusing on endometriosis, ovarian and endometrial cancer. I curated patient samples from clinical research trials to investigate inflammatory and metabolic components of reproductive tissue and disease and began developing patient-derived models of the endometrium. I established a relationship between endometriosis lesions, nerves and pain and how this interaction was mediated by inflammation. I further developed patient-derived in vitro models to understand the interaction between inflammation and hormonal response of endometriotic lesions and how this could be utilized to target current and novel treatments. On returning to Australia in 2016 I joined the Genomics of Reproductive Disorders laboratory to integrate genetic background into patient-derived in vitro models. I established the Endometriosis Research Queensland Study (ERQS) in collaboration with the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital (RBWH) and extended in vitro models into complex multi-cellular assembloids (combinations of organoids and surrounding stromal cells).