Dr Natalie Groves

Research Fellow

UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Faculty of Medicine

Overview

Dr Natalie Groves is currently working with Dr Richard Gordon focusing on understanding the immune and inflammatory mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases, particularly for Parkinson’s disease and Motor Neuron disease. This work involves examining the ability of repurposed drugs to inhibit inflammation in experimental models of these diseases in the hope that this can block or delay disease progression. The group is also interested in understanding more of the non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease which can often precede diagnosis and has a number of projects in the clinical space for both Parkinson's disease and Motor Neuron disease.

Natalie received her PhD from the Queensland Brain Institute at The University of Queensland in 2016. Under the supervision of Associate Professor Tom Burne and Professor John McGrath, she discovered that vitamin D deficiency during adulthood has an impact on behaviour and brain neurochemistry in rodents. These results provide the first evidence in mice to show that adult vitamin D deficiency impacts on neurotransmitter systems that are affected in a number of neuropsychiatric conditions, including autism, schizophrenia, and depression.

After completing her PhD, Natalie began investigating the regulation of adult neural stem cells and their importance in cognition during ageing and in mood disorders in mice. This work was undertaken in Professor Perry Bartlett’s group at the Queensland Brain Institute and Dr Dhanisha Jhaveri’s group at Mater Research. Part of this work examined how chronic stress negatively impacts on neural stem cell development in adulthood and how this can lead to the dysregulation of mood.

Research Interests

  • Studying new treatments to halt disease progression in Parkinson's and Motor Neuron diseases
  • Understanding inflammatory mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases
  • The role of adult hippocampal newborn neurons in cognition and mood regulation
  • Dietary interventions for mood disorders

Research Impacts

Studies by Dr. Natalie Groves, under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Tom Burne in the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research group, revealed that vitamin D deficiency during adulthood in mice led to changes in brain neurochemistry relevant to neuropsychiatric conditions. These important findings led to the proposal and subsequent development of a first ever clinical trial for vitamin D supplementation in first-episode psychosis by Professor John McGrath and international collaborators.

Qualifications

  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland

Publications

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Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy

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Publications

Book Chapter

  • Groves, Natalie J., McGrath, John J. and Burne, Thomas (2018). Adult vitamin D deficiency and adverse brain outcomes. Vitamin D: volume 2: health, disease and therapeutics. (pp. 1147-1158) edited by David Feldman, J. Wesley Pike, Roger Bouillon, Edward Giovannucci, David Goltzman and Martin Hewison. London, United Kingdom: Academic Press. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-809963-6.00115-2

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Groves, N., McGrath, J. and Burne, T. (2015). Adult vitamin D deficiency is associated with impaired cognition, oxidative stress and vulnerability to second hit exposures. 25th Biennial Meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian-Pacific-Society-for-Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian Neuroscience Society, Cairns, QLD Australia, 23-27 August 2015. Chichester, West Sussex United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell.

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision