Dr Natalie Matosin
University of Wollongong
Research Field: Neuroscience
Dr Natalie Matosin’s research identifies potential drug targets aimed at developing new medications to improve quality of life for people living with mental illness.
Most of us carry genes that predispose us to mental illness. So why do only some develop these disorders while others do not? Mental illnesses like depression, post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety affects one in five Australians at some point in their lives, but we don’t know exactly what triggers their development.
Dr Natalie Matosin aims to understand how stress increases the risk of mental illness by comparing the molecular makeup of biological samples – like slivers of brain or blood and saliva – from individuals with mental illness or who have experienced trauma against samples from the psychologically healthy.
By pinpointing differences, Natalie’s research identifies potential drug targets and provides a critical step towards developing new medications to improve quality of life for people who will suffer from a mental illness.
Natalie’s public outreach is extensive. In 2017, Natalie gave a TEDx Hamburg talk on the responsibility of scientists to communicate their findings to the public. She has written numerous media articles and participates in events to promote awareness of mental health issues.
Dr Natalie Matosin received her PhD from the University of Wollongong in 2015 and is currently a NHMRC Research Fellow at the Illawarra Health and Medical Institute and Molecular Horizons Institute, University of Wollongong.