Research description

Joanne is exploring and understanding physiology and disease through new tissue models and platforms. She has developed and characterised a 3D scaffold-free adipose tissue model in chemically defined conditions. The primary human adipose model is phenotypically stable for at least 6 weeks in culture and exhibits improved adipogenesis and molecular phenotypes similar to those of freshly isolated mature human adipocytes. The resulting culture model can be translated across species, cell sources and fat depots.

With the appropriate organotypic models, she is interested in elucidating perturbed tissue and organ interplay within metabolic disorders, in which adipose tissue dysfunction holds a major role, along with contribution from other key organs. To this end, she has also been developing a microphysiological 3D human pancreatic islet model and has used human liver spheroid models in understanding the endogenous antioxidant response and development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Joanne is also working with biofabrication and -material engineers in the group to develop and comprehensively characterise tissue platforms and models, consisting of cell models developed and polymer devices fabricated in-house, that allow crucial inter-organ crosstalk to be captured and studied.


Bachelor of Science (Advanced) (Honours Class I), The University of Sydney