Natalie is determined to make new important discoveries that add to our understanding of human pregnancy complications.
Natalie leads the Therapeutics Discovery and Vascular Biology Group, within the broader Translational Obstetrics Group (led by Mercy Perinatal co-director Prof Stephen Tong). 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).
Natalie holds a prestigious NHMRC CDF Fellowship. 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).
In 2019 she was promoted to Associate Professor and appointed Associate Dean, Diversity and Inclusion in the Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences at the University of Melbourne.