Our Scientists

Dr Nicola Smith

Dr Nicola J. Smith is passionate about all things G protein-coupled receptor – the largest family of membrane proteins in the human genome.

Nicola completed her undergraduate training in pharmacology and biochemistry at the University of Melbourne in 2002 (first class Honours) before commencing a PhD at the Baker Heart Research Institute under the tutelage of Profs Walter Thomas and Ross Hannan, where she studied the role of EGFR transactivation by the angiotensin II receptor in left ventricular hypertrophy (Uni Melb, 2003-7).

In 2006, Nicola was awarded a joint NHMRC/NHF CJ Martin Overseas Fellowship to work in the laboratory of Prof Graeme Milligan, a world expert on G protein-coupled receptors (University of Glasgow, 2007-2011).

In early 2011, Nicola returned to the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute to join the laboratory of Prof Robert Graham, a leader in the role of G protein-coupled receptors in cardiac physiology and pathophysiology, where she established a research program based upon orphan, or un-liganded, receptors (2011-2014).

Nicola has recently been appointed Group Leader at the VCCRI (2016-) and is a Conjoint Senior Lecturer at the University of New South Wales (2015-). She recently received a prestigious National Heart Foundation Future Leader Fellowship to support her work (2017-2021) and has received financial support from NHMRC, NHF, CASS Foundation, Mostyn Family Foundation, St Vincent’s Clinic Foundation and the Australian Government Global Connections Fund.

In addition to her pharmacological studies, Nicola is a passionate science communicator and has worked as a radio science presenter, acted as Ambassador for IMB’s ‘When I Grow Up’ campaign and has spoken to many school and community groups about the joys of science and discovery. In 2011, she was named a NSW Tall Poppy.

Molecular Pharmacology Laboratory 

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