Research Field: Neuroscience, molecular biology
Dr Yee Lian Chew seeks to uncover new treatments for chronic pain, a debilitating condition affecting 20% of Australians. Opioids – the most common treatment for chronic pain – are highly-problematic due to addiction and reduced efficacy over long-term use, thus new therapeutics are urgently required.
An important property of pain-sensing brain cells is that they sensitise, i.e. their excitability can be increased, a key factor in the onset of long-lasting pain. My work uses the brain of the nematode worm as an experimental system to identify the neurochemical signals that drive pain sensitization, in order to discover new therapeutic targets against chronic pain.
Yee Lian has communicated her science through Soapbox Science Sydney 2019, Pint of Science (online, 2021) and the ABC Science Elevator Pitch 2020. She has delivered a public lecture through the University of the 3rd Age to 100 retirees and visited Roma Mitchell High School as a member of a panel on Women in STEM.
Yee Lian was awarded her PhD from the University of Sydney in 2015. She is currently the Mary Overton Senior Research Fellow (supported by Flinders Foundation) and NHMRC Fellow, at Flinders University.