Rachael is an Imperial College Research Fellow in the Section for Nutrition Research, Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction.
My research focuses on hydrolytic enzymes (hydrolases) that are active in an inflamed and cancerous gut. My team integrates approaches from chemistry (activity-based probes, proteomics), cell biology (gut culture models (e.g. gut-on-chip) and medical research (animal models of colon inflammation, patient samples). Our goal is to understand the role of hydrolases in driving colonic diseases and to explore their potential as biomarkers and therapeutic targets.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Science with first class Honours from the University of Queensland, Rachael worked as a Research Assistant at the Diamantina Institute/TRI in a laboratory of Dr Fiona Simpson studying Epidermal Growth Factor trafficking in squamous cell carcinoma.
In 2011, she began her PhD in Cell Biology with Professor Pascal Meier at the Institute of Cancer Research, London. Here she studied the regulation of cell death and inflammation pathways via post-translational modifications and identified a SUMOylation as a novel regulator of the NLRP3 inflammasome.
In 2016 Rachael joined the CMBI at Imperial College as Research Associate in the laboratory of Prof. Gad Frankel. Rachael investigated mechanisms driving colitis caused by gut pathogens and inflammatory bowel disease. This collaborative project with Gastroenterologists and Chemists at Imperial College led to the development of an activity-based assay for detecting faecal neutrophil elastase in inflammatory bowel disease patients.
In 2020 Rachael was awarded an Imperial College Research Fellowship to study active hydrolytic enzymes as drivers of colorectal cancer development and biomarkers for early detection (sponsored by Prof. Gary Frost).
et al., 2020, Antibody/Ligand-Target Receptor Internalization Assay Protocol Using Fresh Human or Murine Tumor Ex Vivo Samples., Star Protoc, Vol:1
et al., 2020, Endocytosis Inhibition in Humans to Improve Responses to ADCC-Mediating Antibodies, Cell, Vol:180, ISSN:0092-8674, Pages:895-+
et al., 2020, Citrobacter rodentium induces rapid and unique metabolic and inflammatory responses in mice suffering from severe disease, Cellular Microbiology, Vol:22, ISSN:1462-5814, Pages:1-17
et al., 2020, Faecal neutrophil elastase-antiprotease balance reflects colitis severity, Mucosal Immunology, Vol:13, ISSN:1933-0219, Pages:322-333
et al., 2019, Citrobacter rodentium-host-microbiota interactions: immunity, bioenergetics and metabolism, Nature Reviews Microbiology, Vol:17, ISSN:1740-1526, Pages:701-715