Naomi conducts her research at the University of Technology Sydney as part of the Proteomics Core Facility as well as the Advanced Tissue Regeneration and Drug Delivery group.
Adipose stem cells
Adults have a plethora of tissues that we can isolate stem cells from. Stem cells are extremely useful due to their proliferative capacity, and ability to differentiate into different cells. They can be harvested directly from adipose tissue, which is extracted from liposuction. Naomi's research characterises both secreted and cellular proteins, in order to better understand the way in which adipose stem cells function.
Adipose stem cells are capable of differentiating into neurons, which are the building blocks of the nervous system including your brain and spinal cord. It is vital to thoroughly characterise this differentiation, as we know that the body has a limited capacity to regenerate neurons in response to trauma or neurodegenerative diseases.
Modelling multiple sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis is the most common cause of chronic neurological disability in young adults. Despite this disease aetiology is still poorly understood, and this is largely due to limited availability of suitable tissue. In order to gain a better understanding of this complicated disease, a model was created using adipose stem cells. This model recapitulates characteristics of multiple sclerosis and provides novel disease insight.