Researcher biography

I am a neurodevelopment geneticist with over ten years of research experience. During my Ph.D., I discovered a complex and non-additive interaction between small non-coding RNAs and a signaling pathway required for normal development. I found that this interaction goes awry in a pediatric brain tumor to regulate its growth. I published these findings in two impactful journals as first and corresponding author, and wrote reviews and book chapter series in this research area. One of my research articles was selected as an issue highlight in Genetics.

Since my Ph.D., I specialize in how sensory information is processed in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The sensory traits associated with ASD have a profound effect on daily life, and for some, amplify problems with social communication, repetitive behaviors, and anxiety. I am currently leading the design and development of medium-to-high throughput assays that extract meaningful about how the brain processes sensory information in ASD. I succeeded in characterizing, at single-cell resolution, how neuronal networks across the whole brain process visual and acoustic information in a fragile X syndrome animal model of ASD. This work was recently published in BMC Biology. I was interviewed by the Brisbane Times and ABC Radio about this research.

I am passionate about training the next generation of scientists. I have supervised seventeen students and staff, many of whom have gone on to make outstanding contributions in science. I am a reviewer for ten journals on The List of Excellence; have written as lead or sole author six articles, reviews, and book series, including a blog for Nature Careers. I have sat on seven committees belonging to The University of Queensland, Women in Technology, and Australasian Neuroscience Society, and on an external editorial board.