Researcher

Dr Vibeke Sorensen Catts

Keywords

Fields of Research (FoR)

Central Nervous System, Neurosciences

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Biography

Dr Vibeke Catts is the Study Coordinator of the Older Australian Twins Study (OATS), a longitudinal study aiming to determine the genetic and environmental influences on the ageing process, and the extent to which these determinants interact. OATS participants are assessed across multiple research domains: neuropsychological assessment of cognitive function, questionnaires detailing lifestyle, physical and mental health of self and family,...view more

Dr Vibeke Catts is the Study Coordinator of the Older Australian Twins Study (OATS), a longitudinal study aiming to determine the genetic and environmental influences on the ageing process, and the extent to which these determinants interact. OATS participants are assessed across multiple research domains: neuropsychological assessment of cognitive function, questionnaires detailing lifestyle, physical and mental health of self and family, blood biochemistry and genetics, and neuroimaging including MRI and PET scans. The study participates in several global consortia and supports the work of several research students at UNSW Sydney.

Dr Catts provides research management to the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), including guidance on research governance and liaison with relevant regulatory bodies.

Meet Our Researcher
Click here to read Dr Vibeke Catts's ‘Meet Our Researcher’ interview


My Grants

University of New South Wales Gold Star (2014) Is the blood brain barrier compromised in schizophrenia. $40,000. with C Shannon Weickert, M Webster, S Fillman, TW Weickert.
Schizophrenia Research Institute (2013) Neurobiology of cortical thinning in schizophrenia. $16,100. with C Shannon Weickert, Y Zhang, K Newell & N Matosin.
UNSW Major Research Equipment & Infrastructure Scheme (2012) xCELLigence DP Real Time Cell Analysis (RTCA) System. $65,000. with J Fullerton, K Sidhu & C Shannon Weickert.
Cure Cancer Australia (2011) The anti-cancer effects of cholesterol trafficking and synthesis inhibitors as co-drugs in an in vivo glioblastoma multiforme model. AU$90,000. with LH Lutze-Mann, M Morris, E Hovey & M Lavin.
The Stanley Medical Research Institute (2009-2011). FAS-cinating changes in a death receptor pathway in schizophrenia. US$140,607. with C Shannon Weickert.
Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation (2006). Establishment of the Neuroplasticity Facility for Psychotic Disorders, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. $18,000. with SV Catts & GN Elston.
Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation (2003) Morphological studies of post-mortem brain tissue in schizophrenia. $14,150. with SV Catts, KD Bedi & GN Elston.
Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation (2002) A functional genomics centre for psychotic disorders. $14,203. with LH Lutze-Mann & SV Catts.
Rebecca L. Cooper Medical Research Foundation (2001) Molecular genetic investigations of the causes of schizophrenia. $15,000. with LH Lutze-Mann & SV Catts.


My Qualifications

2006    Doctor of Philosophy (Biomedical Science), University of Queensland. Thesis title: Cell death and proliferation in mental disorder.
1999    Bachelor of Science with Honours, Class I (Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics), University of New South Wales. Thesis title: Elucidation of glucocorticoid resistance mechanisms in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.


My Awards

2013    Participant of the 2013 Theo Murphy High Flyers Think Tank “Inspiring smarter brain research in Australia”, hosted by the Australian Academy of Science, Melbourne
2011    Dean’s Rising Star Award, Faculty of Medicine, University of New South Wales
2007    Young Investigator Award, International Congress on Schizophrenia Research
2001    Australian Postgraduate Award


My Research Activities

As part of my work with the Older Australian Twins Study (OATS), I have provided support to investigators, staff and students, to facilitate their research. Two Independent Learning Project students under my supervision has investigated longitudinal changes in cognitive function and exploring the factors that contribute to cognitive decline in older age.

Prior to joining the Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA), I held a Post-Doctoral appointment at Neuroscience Research Australia, where I researched molecular and cellular pathology in blood and postmortem brain tissue from individuals with schizophrenia. During my post-doc in the Schizophrenia Research Laboratory, I supervised four higher degree students. 

In collaboration with Professor Lutze-Mann, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, UNSW, I led an investigation of antipsychotic drugs as potential treatments for glioblastoma. It has been noted that patients with schizophrenia have a lower incidence of cancer in comparison with the overall population, which may be attributable to antipsychotic drugs used to manage schizophrenia. We found that antipsychotic drugs preferentially kill cancer cells grown in the laboratory and, since the drugs have the capacity to cross the blood-brain barrier, we tested their potential to be used as chemotherapeutics for brain tumours in a rodent model. The work was supported by a grant by Cure Cancer Australia and the work of two PhD candidates.


My Research Supervision


Supervision keywords


Areas of supervision

Older Australian Twins Study (OATS) provides stellar opportunities to determine the genetic and environmental influences on the ageing process. OATS participants are assessed across multiple research domains: neuropsychological assessment of cognitive function, questionnaires detailing lifestyle, physical and mental health of self and family, blood biochemistry and genetics, and neuroimaging including MRI and PET scans. OATS also participates in several global consortia, which provides access to the large datasets required to address omic-related research questions. We welcome expressions of interest from any HDR candidate interested in brain ageing.


Currently supervising

Mr Christabella Surona, Independent Learning Project, UNSW Sydney.

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Location

Centre for Healthy Brain Ageing (CHeBA)
UNSW Medicine, School of Psychiatry
Level 1, AGSM (G27)
Gate 11, Botany Street
UNSW SYDNEY NSW 2052 AUSTRALIA

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Contact

0431812961

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