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Post-doctoral fellow at University of Technology, Sydney

Rachael works as a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Medical and Molecular Sciences at the University of Technology, Sydney. Her PhD examined the mechanisms of impaired degradation of oxidised proteins with a focus on the consequences for heart disease. Her current project is unravelling a role for the incorporation of non-native amino acids into neuronal proteins and how this might contribute to cell death, specifically with respect to sporadic MND or ALS. In particular, she is looking at the role of the cyanobacterial toxin BMAA and how it might contribute to ALS.

Rachael is a member of the editorial board of Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies. She is a reporter for The Skeptic Zone Podcast and blogs at the Skeptics Book of Pooh Pooh and Skeptics.com.au. She is also a vice president of the Australian Skeptics, and a member of Mystery Investigators science show for children. In 2010, Rachael won the Shorty Award in the Health category for the most interesting health and science information on Twitter. As an ex-graphic designer and copywriter, Rachael enjoys combining her love of science, art and social media as a means of communicating science to the public.

Experience

  • 2012–present
    Post-doctoral fellow, University of Technology, Sydney
  • 2000–2012
    Research Officer, The Heart Research Institute

Education

  • 2006 
    University of Sydney, PhD Medicine
  • 2000 
    University of Adelaide, Honours
  • 1999 
    University of Adelaide, Bachelor of Science
  • 1991 
    Croydon Park TAFE, SA, Associate Diploma in Graphic Design,
  • 1989 
    Stanley Street School of Fine Art, Certificate in Fine Art

Publications

  • 2012
    NCCAM-funded randomised controlled trials of acupuncture, Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies
  • 2011
    External qigong as an adjunct therapy for chronic pain – a critical analysis, Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies
  • 2010
    Critical analysis of evidence for long-term effectiveness of biofeedback intervention in hypertensio, Focus on Alternative and Complementary Therapies
  • 2010
    Kavalactones Yangonin and Methysticin Induce Apoptosis in Human Hepatocytes (HepG2) In Vitro, Phytotherapy Research
  • 2009
    Oxidized proteins: mechanisms of removal and consequences of accumulation., IUBMB Life.
  • 2008
    The impact of specific oxidized amino acids on protein turnover in J774 cells., Biochemical Journal

Honours

Fellow of the Society of Biology
Fellow of the Institute for Science in Medicine

Contact Rachael for

  • General
  • Media request
  • Speaking request
  • Consulting / Advising
  • Research collaboration
  • Research supervision