Natalie is determined to make new important discoveries that add to our understanding of human pregnancy complications.
Natalie leads the Therapeutics Discovery and Vascular Function Group, within the broader Translational Obstetrics Group. Natalie is passionate about developing new approaches to combat preeclampsia. These include identifying drugs that are safe in pregnancy that could be used to prevent and/or treat preeclampsia, and novel ways to package and deliver drugs directly to the placenta (known as nanoparticle technology). She has developed innovative models of both placental and vascular dysfunction (in human and mouse) to better understand placental dysfunction and novel therapeutic targets.
Natalie is the Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne. She has long been recognised for her contribution to the broader community for her fervor to inspire and mentor the next generation of researchers. She was awarded an International Federation of Placental Associations (IFPA) Andrée Gruslin Outstanding Female Mid-Career award, a Young Tall Poppy (2010) and Fresh Science Award (2006). Natalie is a veski Inspiring Women Fellow and is actively involved in campaigns promoting gender equity for women in science and medicine.
Natalie holds a prestigious NHMRC CDF Fellowship. Natalie has received over $6M as a chief investigator in research funding, and she has published over 90 peer reviewed 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 led to a Phase II clinical trial (Preeclampsia Intervention with Esomeprazole (PIE) trial) to examine whether esomeprazole could be used to treat preeclampsia. This trial was run in South Africa, Natalie led the laboratory analysis of samples collected from women participating in the trial.
Natalie is the President of the professional society, the Australian and New Zealand Placental Research Association (ANZPRA). She is an avid contributor to the scientific community. Natalie and her fellow Mercy Perinatal Colleague A/Prof Tu’uhevaha Katiu’u-Lino are the co-convenors of the Australian Reproduction Update meeting (sponsored by Mercy Perinatal). Natalie also serves as an executive member for the IFPA society, and chairs/serves on various other boards and committees.