Natalie is determined to make new important discoveries that add to our understanding of human pregnancy complications.
Within the Translational Obstetrics Group, Natalie’s interests include developing novel approaches to package drugs and deliver them directly to the placenta (known as nanoparticle technology), and identifying drugs that are safe in pregnancy, and could be used to treat preeclampsia.
Natalie holds a prestigious University of Melbourne CR Roper Fellowship andleads one of two dynamic research teams within the Translational Obstetrics Group (led by Mercy Perinatal co-director Prof Stephen Tong). Natalie has received over $4.3M in funding and has published over 50 scientific papers in international journals.
Her research team were instrumental in laboratory studies that identified the exciting possibility that esomeprazole may be used to treat preeclampsia. Esomeprazole is widely prescribed to women during their pregnancy to relieve gastric reflux. These findings have led to the Preeclampsia Intervention with Esomeprazole (PIE) trial - a Phase II clinical trial to examine whether esomeprazole could be used to treat preeclampsia. This trial is currently running in South Africa and Natalie is leading the laboratory studies of samples that are being collected from women participating in PIE.
Natalie has been recognised by the broader community for her fervor to inspire and mentor the next generation of researchers. She was awarded a Young Tall Poppy (2010) and Fresh Science Award (2006). More recently, she has become involved in campaigns promoting gender equity for women in science and was recently awarded an inaugural Veski Inspiring Women Fellowship.
Natalie has strongly contributed to the scientific community. She has previously served as the early career researcher representative for the Society for Reproductive Biology and is currently an executive member for the Australian New Zealand Placental Research Association (ANZPRA) and The International Federation of Placental Associations (IFPA).