Natalie Payne, Postgraduate
Research Scholar funded by
the Trish Foundation - 2006-2009
In 2006 Natalie Payne became the recipient of the Trish Foundation’s Postgraduate Research Scholarship.
A bright young graduate of La Trobe University with Honours in Biochemistry, Natalie’s interests include music, reading, running and cricket.
Natalie graduated from Tintern Anglican Girls Grammar School, Victoria in 2000, achieving a Certificate of Merit for Academic Achievement.
“At high school I completed a Diploma of the International Baccalaureate which included higher level biology. I had a fantastic biology teacher who sparked my interest in diseases and how the body defends itself against infection,” Natalie said. “Human diseases and how they can be treated is an interest I wanted to pursue.”
Natalie’s personal experience with being touched by multiple sclerosis was the diagnosis of her friend’s father fifteen years ago.
“My friend’s Dad hasn’t been able to work for a while and his health has started to deteriorate,” Natalie said.
"I feel very privileged to be the recipient of the Trish Foundation Postgraduate Research Scholarship. MS is a devastating disease for which there is no cure and this scholarship has not only given me the opportunity to pursue a career in scientific research but also contribute towards finding new treatments that will help the millions of people that suffer from MS worldwide.”
Natalie’s research is being carried out at the Monash Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories as part of Professor Claude Bernard's group. MISCL is the world’s largest stem cell and regenerative medicine research facility and is a centre of research excellence, dedicated to achieving major advances in stem cell research. This internationally competitive research facility is providing the opportunity for Natalie to complete her research work in a scientifically stimulating environment.
Natalie’s supervisor, Professor Claude Bernard said, “I have had the opportunity to gauge Natalie’s commitment and enthusiasm to perform as well as present her research. I am so impressed by her capacity that I invited Natalie to join our group at Monash Immunology & Stem Cell Laboratories to undertake her PhD work. I am delight she accepted our offer.”
A day in the lab with Natalie is very busy, her commitment and her strong work ethic really shining through.
“I arrive at the lab with lots of experiments planned, however it is also important to keep up with my reading so I can learn what people in my field are doing. There is a lot of lab work and I often have a quick lunch break of ten minutes.”
“Over the past 30 years Claude has made significant discoveries that have helped us to understand more about MS. The work our group is now undertaking, which involves the use of stem-cell based therapies to reverse the effects of MS, is very exciting. Being such a competitive field, I feel very lucky that I have the chance to work with Claude, an internationally renowned scientist who is at the forefront of MS research."
A chat with Natalie reveals her passion and enthusiasm to make a difference to people with MS.
There is no doubt the world is a better place with bright young researchers such as Natalie striving so hard to make the important break-throughs which give great hope to people with this debilitating disease.
At just over half way through completing her PhD training, Natalie had already written on the promise of stem cell and regenerative therapies for MS in two journals, given a presentation at a conference and presented three posters. For more information please click here.
Breaking news October 2012:
researchers have discovered that stem cells derived from fat tissue are more
effective in reaching the brain and spinal cord in a mouse model of MS than
stem cells from bone marrow.