Annabel Sorby-Adams

Annabel Sorby-Adams

School of Biomedicine

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences


Dr Annabel Sorby-Adams is a Visiting Research Fellow in the School of Biomedicine and concurrent Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge whose research has a simple goal - to advance novel stroke treatments from pipette to patient.

Annabel completed her PhD at the University of Adelaide in 2021, with her doctoral research awarded the Doctoral Medal and a Deans Commendation for Research Excellence. She commenced her postdoctoral role at the University of Cambridge in January 2021, where she is investigating the mechanisms underlying reperfusion injury post-stroke - a deleterious and paradoxical consequence of current stroke interventions.

Through her affiliation with both the University of Adelaide and University of Cambridge, Annabel's research seeks to identify novel therapeutic targets, establish collaborative networks and advance international stroke research. To this end, she is recent awardee of a Fulbright Fellowship, where in 2022 she will pursue a fellowship at the University of Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital to validate 'low field' MRI in stroke diagnosis.

Research Overview

Every 2 seconds someone in the world suffers a stroke. One third of individuals affected will die and another third will be left permanently disabled as a result. The lasting effect of stroke on individuals and those close to them is devastating, impeding a survivor’s ability to walk, talk and see, while significantly compromising their mental health, wellbeing, and independence. Despite improvements in disease prevention and management, accumulating risk factors together with an ageing population contribute to an increasing lifetime risk. Given stroke is the second leading cause of death and leading cause of adult neurological disability, this is a significant cause for concern.

Ischaemic stroke, the most prevalent subtype, arises due to obstruction of vital oxygen-and nutrient-supplying blood to neuronal tissue, initiating a cascade of events ultimately resulting in cell death. Current treatments for ischaemic stroke are predicated upon recanalisation of the occluded vessel, with more brain tissue and subsequent function able to be salvaged if the stroke is detected and treatment is received expeditiously. However, whilst recanalisation can prove beneficial, the restoration of blood flow can paradoxically worsen injury, termed ischaemic reperfusion (I/R) injury. During I/R, reinstatement of oxygen to brain tissue initiates a process termed reverse electron transport, leading to a burst in reactive oxygen species, causing breakdown of intracellular structures including the plasma membrane, proteins, and DNA, exacerbating cell death.

My research focuses on the the mechanisms that underlie I/R injury post-stroke, from the mechanisms which take place at a cellular level, to their ultimate consequences, such as the development of brain swelling and subsequent rise in intracranial pressure. Using appropriate pre-clinical models, and with a cross-institutional approach between the University of Adelaide and Cambridge University, my research seeks to identify promising targets and develop new treatment strategies to improve the treatment of stroke.

Available Projects

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  • Appointments

    Date Position Institution name
    2021 - ongoing Postdoctoral Research Fellow University of Cambridge
    2021 - ongoing Visiting Research Fellow The University of Adelaide
    2019 - 2020 Research Assistant Cambridge Univeristy
    2018 - 2020 Guest Lecturer and Tutor Univerisity of South Australia
    2016 - ongoing Guest Lecturer and Tutor The University of Adelaide
  • Awards and Achievements

    Date Type Title Institution Name Country Amount
    2022 Award Fulbright Future Postdoctoral Fellowship The Fulbright Comission Australia
    2021 Award Dean's Commendation for Doctoral Thesis Excellence The University of Adelaide Australia
    2020 Award Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Award Brain Foundation Australia
    2019 Award NIHR Stroke Research Workshop; Best Oral Presentation National Institute of Health Research United Kingdom
    2019 Award Channel 9 Young Achiever Award; Science and Technology Finalist Seven News Australia
    2018 Award Klaus Reymann Young Scientist Award 10th International Symposium on Neuroprotection and Neurorepair Germany
    2018 Award Hans-Jürgen and Marianne Ohff Research Grant The University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 Achievement Australian Institute of Policy and Science CSL Florey Next Generation Award; University Finalist The University of Adelaide Australia
    2018 Award Australian Society for Medical Research; People's Choice Award Australian Society for Medical Research Australia
    2017 Award Florey Medical Research Foundation CMAX Prize; Best Poster The University of Adelaide Australia
    2016 Award Australasian Neuroscience Society Travel Award Australasian Neuroscience Society Inc
    2016 Scholarship Australian Postgraduate Award The University of Adelaide
    2016 Scholarship Peter Couche Foundation Supplementary Scholarship The Peter Couche Foundation Australia
    2015 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Major: Pathology (School of Medicine) The University of Adelaide Australia
    2015 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Subject: Essentials of Pathology (School of Medicine) The University of Adelaide Australia
    2015 Award Highest Aggregate Grade in Subject: Integrative Physiology (School of Medicine) The University of Adelaide Australia
    2015 Award Bachelor of Health Sciences, Executive Dean's Certificate of Merit The University of Adelaide Australia
  • Education

    Date Institution name Country Title
    2016 - 2021 University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Medicine (Neuroscience)
    2015 - 2015 University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours)
    2011 - 2014 The University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Health Sciences
  • Research Interests

Scholarships

Year Source Amount
2016 Peter Couche Foundation Supplementary Scholarship $33,000
2016 Australian Postgraduate Award $98,000

 

Overview

Since 2014 I have actively taught undergraduate courses at the University of Adelaide and University of South Australia. I am passionate about engaging young STEM learners, with a particular interest in neuroscience and human biology. A full summary of course contributions are provided below.

Medicine and Medical Sciences
— Tutor Human Anatomy and Physiology 1B (HLTH SC 1002)
— Tutor Human Anatomy and Physiology 1A (HLTH SC 1002)
— Lecturer, Tutor and Marker Essentials of Neuroscience (HLTH SC 1001)
— Lecturer and Tutor Neurological Diseases (PATHOL 3200)
— Lecturer, Tutor, Demonstrator Essentials of Pathology (PATHOL 3101)
— Tutor and Demonstrator Foundations of Human Neuroanatomy (ANAT SC 2006)
— Tutor Create, Communicate, Connect in Health Sciences (HLTH SC 1002)
— Tutor and Demonstrator Functional Human Neuroanatomy (ANAT SC 3103)
— Demonstrator Cells, Tissues and Development II (ANAT SC 2109)

Nursing
— Tutor Biology of Human Disease II (NURSING 2008)
— Marker Biology of Human Disease I (NURSING 2005)

  • Committee Memberships

    Date Role Committee Institution Country
    2020 - ongoing Representative Stroke Coalition of Preclinical Researchers Engagement Committee Stroke Coalition of Preclinical Researchers (Stroke CORE) Australia
    2019 - ongoing Treasurer Stroke Society of Australasia Emerging Scientists and Clinicans Special Interest Group Stroke Society of Australiasia Australia
  • Presentation

    Date Topic Presented at Institution Country
    2019 - ongoing Developing a Porcine Survival Model of Thoracic Contusion Spinal Cord Injury Adelaide Spinal Research Symposium
    2018 - ongoing Methodology for Measuring Intrathecal Pressure Changes Following Spinal Cord Injury Australian Neurotrauma Workshop

Connect With Me
External Profiles