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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
- 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)
- PhD in Neurobiology (Graduated 2001, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel). Thesis: T cell immune response in the injured central nervous system.
My Research Activities
As CIA I lead NHMRC grants on preclinical studies in neuropathic pain.
My Research Supervision
Areas of supervision
I supervise PhD, Masters, Honours and Independent Learning Project students undertaking research in the areas of neuroimmunology and chronic pain.
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).
- Co-convenor of the course NEUR3221 – Neurophysiology
- Postgraduate Coordinator, School of Medical Sciences.
The aims of this research are to assess the effects of immune modulation by inducing immune tolerance and manipulating regulatory T cells on pain behaviours following nervous system injury. This study promises to significantly enhance our understanding of the immunological mechanisms underlying neuropathic pain and thereby offers hope for new approaches to therapeutic intervention.
Peripheral nerve injury often results in persistent and debilitating neuropathic pain. My overall objective is to understand the immunological mechanisms responsible for such pain. I plan to test the hypothesis that the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-17 promotes neuroinflammation and contributes to increased pain sensitivity after nerve injury. This study promises to enhance our understanding of neuroimmune activation in neuropathic pain and offers new opportunities for pain management.
Chronic pain is a common debilitating symptom affecting between 50% and 80% of MS patients. However, despite its widespread occurrence, chronic pain is a rarely studied symptom of this disease. The pathology of MS is largely attributed to self-reactive T cells recognising myelin antigen that penetrate the blood-brain barrier, become activated in the central nervous system, and orchestrate a cascade of events including chronic inflammation, primary demyelination, and axonal damage. Interestingly, T cells have been found to play a pivotal role in mediating chronic pain…
This research grant is a trans-Tasman collaboration between Australian researchers (Dr Moalem-Taylor and Dr Gorrie) and New Zealand researchers (Prof Green, Prof Nicholson and Dr O’Carroll), and brings together experts in spinal cord injury, neuropathic pain, gap junction modulation and neurodegenerative disease.…