Researcher

Associate Professor Gila Moalem-Taylor

My Expertise

Expertise: 

I am a research-focused academic at the Translational Neuroscience Facility, School of Medical Sciences. I am interested in neuroimmune interactions in health and disease, particularly in neuropathic pain, a form of chronic pain caused by a lesion or disease of the somatosensory nervous system. My goal is to identify targets and mechanisms for reducing pain and disability through immunomodulation and neuromodulation. I have collaborations with academics, clinicians, and industry partners across NSW, Australia, and internationally.  

Current research focuses on the role of immune cells and their mediators (e.g. cytokines) in neuropathic pain caused by peripheral nerve injury, autoimmune diseases of the nervous system such as multiple sclerosis, and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.

Approaches: 

  • Animal models of nervous system injury/disease associated with neuropathic pain (peripheral neuropathy, multiple sclerosis).
  • Using anti-inflammatory mediators and immune cell therapies in vivo.
  • In vitro culture systems of dorsal root ganglion (DRG) sensory neurons, microglia, and regulatory T cells.
  • Various molecular, biochemical, histological, microscopy, and imaging techniques.

Impact: 

  • Understanding the role of neuroinflammation in chronic pain conditions.
  • Testing of neuroprotective candidate drugs for the treatment of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy.
  • Developing novel immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of multiple sclerosis and neuropathic pain.

 

Fields of Research (FoR)

Neurosciences, Peripheral nervous system, Central nervous system, Cellular immunology, Pain

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Biography

I graduated with a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. I was then awarded a Rothschild Postdoctoral Fellowship and worked on the role of T cells in neuropathic pain at The University of Cincinnati Medical Centre (USA). I then moved to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney Australia, where I was awarded the UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, followed by the NSW Office of Science and Medical Research...view more

I graduated with a PhD from the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. I was then awarded a Rothschild Postdoctoral Fellowship and worked on the role of T cells in neuropathic pain at The University of Cincinnati Medical Centre (USA). I then moved to the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Sydney Australia, where I was awarded the UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellowship, followed by the NSW Office of Science and Medical Research (OSMR) Career Development Fellowship under the NSW Spinal Cord Injury and Related Neurological Conditions Research Grants Program. Since 2015, I have been working as a combined track (Teaching & Research) academic in the Department of Physiology, where I lead the Neuropathic Pain Research Group at the Translational Neuroscience Facility. I manage a team of postdocs, undergraduate research students (Honours), and PhD students. I am also the Postgraduate Coordinator, School of Medical Sciences.

 


My Grants

  • NHMRC Project Grant (ID # APP1162060) “Targets and mechanisms in reducing neuropathic pain through immunomodulatory treatments" - Moalem-Taylor G & Butovsky Oleg. $927,520 (2019-2023)
  • NHMRC Ideas Grant (ID # APP1187416). “A novel approach for peripheral neuromodulation: Using ionic direct current to treat chronic pain" Moalem-Taylor G., Aplin F., Potas J., & Fridman G. $732,693.60 (2020-2023)

My Qualifications

  • PhD in Neurobiology (Graduated 2001, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel). Thesis: T cell immune response in the injured central nervous system.

My Awards

  • 2017      UNSW Arc Postgraduate Supervisor Award for excellence in postgraduate research supervision
  • 2018      SoMS Award for Higher Degree Research Supervision
  • 2018      SoMS Citation Classic Award for three papers that received 50 or more citations over any consecutive 5 years
  • 2020      Researcher of the Year Award – SoMS Dec 2020
  • 2021      Mid-Career Award - “We are Neuroimmunology” Mid-Career International Society of Neuroimmunology (ISNI) award

My Research Activities

As CIA I lead NHMRC grants on preclinical studies in neuropathic pain.


My Research Supervision


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Areas of supervision

I supervise PhD, Masters, Honours and Independent Learning Project students undertaking research in the areas of neuroimmunology and chronic pain.


Currently supervising

I currently supervise several PhD and Honours student projects focusing on:

  • Investigating the effects of regulatory T cells and anti-inflammatory cytokines (e.g. IL-35) on glial cell regulation in mouse models of neuropathic pain.
  • Investigating sensory neuron and immune/glial cell interactions using in vitro primary cell cultures.
  • Novel Neuromodulation approaches to block pain transmission.
  • Neuron-targeted nanoconjugates for modulating pain behaviours (with Prof Mao, UNSW).
     

My Teaching

  • Co-convenor of the course NEUR3221 – Neurophysiology
  • Postgraduate Coordinator, School of Medical Sciences.
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Location

School of Medical Sciences, Translational Neuroscience Facility, Wallace Wurth Building, Level 3

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Contact

+61 2 90658014

Research Activities