Researcher

Dr Nicola J Smith

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Receptors and Membrane Biology, Basic Pharmacology, Cardiology (incl. Cardiovascular Diseases)

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Biography

Dr Nicola J. Smith is passionate about all things G protein-coupled receptor – the largest family of membrane proteins in the human genome.

Nicola completed her undergraduate training in pharmacology and biochemistry at the University of Melbourne in 2002 (first class Honours) before commencing a PhD at the Baker Heart Research Institute under the tutelage of Profs Walter Thomas and Ross Hannan, where she studied the role of EGFR...view more

Dr Nicola J. Smith is passionate about all things G protein-coupled receptor – the largest family of membrane proteins in the human genome.

Nicola completed her undergraduate training in pharmacology and biochemistry at the University of Melbourne in 2002 (first class Honours) before commencing a PhD at the Baker Heart Research Institute under the tutelage of Profs Walter Thomas and Ross Hannan, where she studied the role of EGFR transactivation by the angiotensin II receptor in left ventricular hypertrophy (Uni Melb, 2003-7). In 2006, Nicola was awarded a joint NHMRC/NHF CJ Martin Overseas Fellowship to work in the laboratory of Prof Graeme Milligan, a world expert on G protein-coupled receptors (University of Glasgow, 2007-2011). In early 2011, Nicola returned to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute to join the laboratory of Prof Robert Graham, a leader in the role of G protein-coupled receptors in cardiac physiology and pathophysiology, where she established a research program based upon orphan, or un-liganded, receptors (2011-2015). Nicola was appointed Group Leader in 2016 and was awarded a National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship the following year. She recently accepted a senior lecturer appointment at UNSW Sydney School of Medical Sciences where she heads up the Orphan Receptor Laboratory, as well as teaching into several pharmacology courses. In addition to her pharmacological studies, Nicola is a passionate science communicator and has worked as a radio science presenter, acted as Ambassador for IMB’s ‘When I Grow Up’ campaign and has spoken to many school and community groups about the joys of science and discovery.

Nicola currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Australasian Society for Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists (ASCEPT).

For current projects, please contact Nicola for more information.


My Grants

National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship (Level 2) “Understanding orphan G protein-coupled receptors in cardiovascular health and disease” (2017-2021)
NHMRC Project Grant 1120483 (CIC) “Role of RNA-binding proteins in cardiomyocyte physiology” (2017-2020)
St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation Froulop Research Grant (CIA) “Investigating the interplay between the sympathetic nervous system, anxiety and gender on blood pressure homeostasis” (2018)
Australian Government (CIA) Global Connections Fund Seed Grant (2017)
St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation Annual Grant 6 (CIA) “A new cardioprotective factor in left ventricular hypertrophy?” (2016)
Mostyn Family Foundation Ongoing Bequest (CIA) “To fund drug discovery addressing the underlying causes of hypertension”
NHMRC Project Grant 1061804 (CIB) “Does GPR84 mediate the beneficial effects of medium chain fatty acids?” (2014-2016)
NHMRC/NHF CJ Martin Fellowship (459413) “Molecular determinants of GPR40 signalling and regulation in disease” (2007-2013)
UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme 2016 Grant #RG 163080, Housley, Bryce, Finch, Jones, Liu, Moorhouse, Ong, Power, SMITH, Turner, Vandenberg “Faculty infrastructure project: benchtop system integrating multi-mode microplate optics with precision, programmable liquid handling”.


My Qualifications

PhD, University of Melbourne, 2007
BSc (First Class), University of Melbourne, 2002
BSc, University of Melbourne, 2001
BA, University of Melbourne, 2001


My Awards

2015 Garvan Institute Oral Prize
2014 St Vincent’s Precinct Rising Star
2012 Paul Korner Seminar Speaker Award, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
2012 37th Lorne Conference on Protein Structure and Function Young Investigator Award
2011 Young Tall Poppy Award, NSW
2011 ASCEPT Denis Wade New Investigator Award
2009 ‘Paper of the Week’, Journal of Biological Chemistry
2007 Highest ranked applicant for the National Heart Foundation of Australia Overseas Fellowship (accepted joint funding with NHMRC)
2004 Winner of the Best Poster Prize, Gordon Research Conference on Angiotensin
2004 Winner, Rod Andrews Poster Prize at the Baker Heart Research Institute
2001 Awarded the Pharmacology Prize for top final year student, University of Melbourne


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Molecular pharmacology of G protein-coupled receptors.


Currently supervising

Ms Margaret (Meg) Mouat, PhD student
Mr Sean Souchiart So, PhD student
Mr Brendan Wilkins, PhD student
Ms Kinjal Patel, PhD student
Ms Mariah Stavrou, Hons student
Ms Georgia Crowley, Hons student
Mr Alexander Lara-Watson, Hons student

Lab alumni:
James Coleman, post-doc, PhD and Hons
Tony Ngo, PhD
Amy Nicks, PhD (Uni Leeds)
Brendan Wilkins, Research Assistant
Peter Keov, post-doc
Margaret (Meg) Mouat, Hons
Eric Cheung, Hons
Rhyll Smythe, Hons
Andrew Cleave, Hons
Theodore Nettleton, Hons
Justin Moon, Hons student
Annie Chen, co-supervised Hons student
Jennifer Grant, co-supervised Hons student


My Teaching

I am a Senior Lecturer and teach in various pharmacology courses, including Molecular Pharmacology (PHAR3102) and Drug Design, Discovery and Development (PHAR3101).

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Location

Rm 323, Wallace Wurth 3East
UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA


Contact

+61 2 (0) 9385 1472