Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences
Dr Natalie Aboustate - Postdoctoral Fellow
Robinson Research Institute, Adelaide Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences.
I was awarded my PhD in Medicine in March 2018 for my research on inflammatory regulation in placenta and cord blood from preterm births. This project developed my expertise in the field of immunology and obstetrics, fostering a passion for basic science with direct clinical translation.
My studies at the LMH led to the development of strong working relationships with research clinicians at the hospital and employment in coordinating and executing clinical trials such as the PROTECTIVE trial (optimal dosing of intravenous iron during pregnancy for replenishing and sustaining iron stores into the postnatal period), ROTEM (Thrombelastometry) in AUGH (Acute Upper Gastrointestinal Haemorrhage) Study, KADS (Ketamine for Adult Depression Study), CERT-D (improving resilience and psychosocial outcomes in people with current or remitted depression to prevent relapse/ ease severity of symptoms) and CogSAFe (Cognitive Decline in Atrial Fibrillation).
These experiences developed my interest for research in the field personalised psychiatry, specifically, investigating determinants of mental health. I currently hold an academic position as the John M Nardo Post-doctoral fellow within the Critical and Ethical Mental Health group (Robinson Research Institute). I have a secondary appointment as a study coordinator in the department of Anaesthetics, involved in several projects looking at patient blood management and improving health and resource outcomes.
Major Research Themes
Adolescent Mental Health
Perinatal Mental Health
Iron Metabolism in Pregnancy
I am the first recipient of the John M Nardo Postdoctoral Fellowship held by the Critical and Ethical Mental Health (CEMH) Research group of the Robinson Research Institute. My research involves the reanalysis of pharmaceutical trials under the Restoring Invisible and Abandoned Trials (RIAT) initiative, with a focus on adolescent mental health.
Working under A/ Prof Bernd Froessler, I am a Study Coordinator for the Protective Trial, which looks at optimising the dose of IV Ferric Carboxymaltose for women who suffer from iron deficiency during pregnancy. Our trial is investigating pregnancy outcomes and perinatal mental health in this population to better characterise the effects of maternal iron deficiency on the mother and neonate, and how iron supplementation may ameliorate poor outcomes.
Neonatal Immunity (PhD Work)
My PhD characterised alterations in immune regulation by preterm neonates compared to term as they are particularly vulnerable to inflammatory morbidities and other poor health outcomes. My research utilised placenta and cord blood as indicators of innate immune function in the preterm neonate, alongside data concerning clinical outcomes for these neonates. My findings showed preterm neonates can mount a robust response to inflammatory stimuli, but are unable to appropriately regulate inflammation. As preterm neonates are susceptible to contracting infections, attenuated immune regulation could underlie their susceptibility towards developing systemic inflammatory signalling.
Date Position Institution name 2019 John M Nardo Postdoctoral Fellow Robinson Research Institute 2019 Study Coordinator University of Adelaide 2018 Study Coordinator LMH, University of Adelaide 2018 - 2018 Tutor Flinders University 2017 Research Assistant University of Adelaide 2016 Research Assistant LMH, University of Adelaide 2012 - 2013 Research Assistant University of Adelaide
Language Competency English Can read, write, speak, understand spoken and peer review Italian Can read and understand spoken Polish Can read, speak and understand spoken
Date Institution name Country Title 2013 - 2018 University of Adelaide Australia PhD in Medicine 2012 - 2012 University of Adelaide Australia Honours in Health Sciences — University of Adelaide Australia Bachelor of Science
Date Title Institution name Country 2018 Venepuncture and phlebotomy SA Health Australia 2018 The C-SSRS Training – English-International - V.1. Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene — 0 Mental Health First Aid Mental Health First Aid Australia Australia 0 ICH E6 GCP Training INCR Clinical Education —
Research InterestsBiological Psychology Biological Sciences Biomarkers Developmental & Child Psychology Developmental Psychology and Ageing Haematology Immunology Mental Health Obstetrics and Gynaecology Philosophical Psychology Psychiatry Cardiac, Respiratory and Vascular Health Early Origins of Health Immunology and Infection Neuroscience, Behaviour and Brain Health Pregnancy and Birth Surgical and Health Systems Innovation Translational Health Outcomes
Year Citation 2019 Knight, M., Fourrier, C., Lyrtzis, E., Aboustate, N., Sampson, E., Hori, H., . . . Baune, B. (2019). Cognitive deficits in the THINC-integrated tool (THINC-it) are associated with psychosocial dysfunction in patients with major depressive disorder. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 80(1), 1-8.
2018 Knight, M. J., Aboustate, N., & Baune, B. (2018). Cognitive Dysfunction in Major Depressive Disorder: Cause and Effect. Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, 5(4), 302-309.
2017 Hodyl, N., Aboustate, N., Bianco-Miotto, T., Roberts, C., Clifton, V., & Stark, M. (2017). Child neurodevelopmental outcomes following preterm and term birth: what can the placenta tell us?. Placenta, 57, 79-86.
DOI Scopus14 WoS10 Europe PMC1
Year Citation 2018 Froessler, B., Zorron, L., Aboustate, N., & Singh, R. (2018). An evaluation of dynamic clot formation in endoscopic mucosal resection. In 19th Annual Symposium on Patient Blood Management, Haemostasis and Thrombosis. Lisbon, Portugal. 2018 Aboustate, N., clifton, V., stark, M., & hodyl, N. (2018). Maternal cigarette smoking in pregnancy alters expression of microRNAs (miRs) that regulate inflammatory processes in cord blood. In Inflammation in Reproduction, Pregnancy and Development. cairns, australia. 2016 Aboustate, N., Clifton, V., Stark, M., & Hodyl, N. (2016). MICRORNAS REGULATING TOLL LIKE RECEPTOR INFLAMMATORY PATHWAYS IN PRETERM AND TERM PLACENTA AND CORD BLOOD. In PLACENTA Vol. 45 (pp. 87-88). Portland, OR: W B SAUNDERS CO LTD.
2015 Aboustate, N., Clifton, V. L., Stark, M. J., & Hodyl, N. A. (2015). Differential expression of microRNAs that regulate TLR pathways in cord blood and placentae from preterm deliveries. In Placenta Vol. 36. Brisbane: Elsevier.
Year Citation 2016 Aboustate, N., Stark, M. J., Clifton, V. C., & Hodyl, N. A. (2016). Maternal cigarette smoking in pregnancy alters expression of microRNAs (miRs) that regulate inflammation in the placenta and cord blood. Poster session presented at the meeting of Abstracts of the 3rd Annual DOHaD ANZ Annual Conference: Shaping our future. Adelaide, SA: The DOHaD Society of Australia and New Zealand. 2016 Aboustate, N., Clifton, V. C., Stark, M. J., & Hodyl, N. A. (2016). MicroRNAs regulating Toll Like Receptor inflammatory pathways in preterm and term placenta and cord blood. Poster session presented at the meeting of Abstracts of the International Federation of Placental Associations, as published in Placenta. Portland, Oregon, USA: Elsevier.
2014 Aboustate, N., Clifton, V. L., Stark, M. J., & Hodyl, N. A. (2014). Cord Blood microRNAs that regulate TLR Pathways are differentially expressed depending on gestational age.. Poster session presented at the meeting of ESA-SRB: Proceedings 2014. Melbourne. 2014 Aboustate, N., Clifton, V. L., Pitcher, J. B., Stark, M. J., & Hodyl, N. A. (2014). Expression of MicroRNAs that regulate inflammation in cord blood from Preterm Neonates.. Poster session presented at the meeting of FNWS Proceedings 2014. Yanchep, WA. 2014 Aboustate, N., Clifton, V. L., Pitcher, J. B., Stark, M. J., & Hodyl, N. A. (2014). Prenatal Betamethasone therapy increases stimulated cord blood pro-inflammatory cytokine responses in preterm neonates.. Poster session presented at the meeting of NAHLN Research Day. Mawson Lakes, SA. 2013 Hodyl., Aboustate., Clifton., & Stark. (2013). Cord blood from preterm infants demonstrates an exaggerated pro-inflammatory response following pathogen exposure. Poster session presented at the meeting of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Congress. Singapore. 2013 Hodyl., Aboustate., Clifton., & Stark. (2013). Cord blood from preterm infants demonstrates an exaggerated pro-inflammatory response following pathogen exposure. Poster session presented at the meeting of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease Congress. Singapore.
I have received a conference award (Y.W. (Charlie) Loke Award for Early Career Researchers, IFPA 2016), 9 travel awards (including one international) and 4 scholarships (APA postgraduate award, funded course participation at EMBL, Honours scholarship and 6 week summer research scholarship).
I supervise Medical Students and students from BSc and B Health Science courses that wish to undertake Summer Research programs or who require short-term research experience. I have made significant contributions to the supervision of Honours students under more senior supervisors in the field of Psychiatry, Obstetrics and Cardiology. I also have teaching experience as a lecturer/ tutor for undergraduate students at Flinders University for a semester of the course "Quantitative Research Methods".
Date Role Committee Institution Country 2019 - ongoing Board Member NALHN Strategic Research Council Lyell McEwin Hospital Australia 2018 - ongoing Member Biological Psychiatry Australia Biological Psychiatry Australia Australia 2016 - ongoing Board Member Biological Society of South Australia — Australia
Date Institution Department Organisation Type Country 2014 - ongoing Placenta Journal — — —
Date Event Name Event Type Institution Country 2018 - 2018 Biological Psychiatry Australia Conference 2018 Conference Biological Psychiatry Austalia Australia
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