fbpx Gabrielle Briggs | HMRI

Dr Gabrielle Briggs

Dr Gabrielle Briggs

Brief Profile / Biography 

Born and raised in Newcastle, I completed my Bachelor of Biomedical Science with 1st class Honours at the University of Newcastle in 2008. Realising that I had a knack for all things molecular, I went on to do a PhD in medical biochemistry, specifically, studying the regulation of catecholamine biosynthesis which relates to a range of processes/pathologies including Parkinson’s Disease, the stress response and the regulation of lactation. After the award of my PhD in 2012, I worked as a postdoctoral scientist with the Dickson/Dunkley group to continue my research in this area.  

In 2014 I worked as a postdoctoral researcher with the Grainge/Lewis laboratory, investigating how bacteria successfully replicate their DNA and with the aim of finding new targets for antibiotics. 

In 2015, I joined the John Hunter Hospital’s Trauma Service to establish the Surgical Sciences Research Laboratory and have worked there since as a postdoctoral researcher investigating the inflammatory/immune and coagulation responses to severe injury and whether we can identify biomarkers and therapies for the serious complications in severely injured patients, namely, multiple organ failure, sepsis and coagulopathy. 

 

Research Interests 

  • traumatic injury 
  • post-injury inflammation and coagulopathy 
  • multiple organ failure 
  • sepsis 
  • joint infection 
  • blood transfusion 
  • mitochondrial dysfunction 
  • diagnostic test development 

 

Why did you get into research? 

It was never a decision to get into research. It was a given! I have always had a thirst for knowledge, but even more so, a thirst for what we don’t yet know. Think forward 100 years - of all the medical treatments, devices and new knowledge we will have. My drive is knowing that researchers like myself can make that happen. 

I also got into research because it can be a lot of fun! Being a researcher can feel like being a detective, where the crime is a disease and all the suspects are microscopic, interrogations are laboratory assays and the courtroom is peer review! 

 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research? 

I investigate what happens in the body after severe injury, and how we can prevent and treat the serious complications that happen to traumatically injured patients. There are still some big mysteries about why some patients don’t survive, or why some patients recover well and others have long, drawn out hospital stays or ongoing health issues. My dream would be to make a significant discovery in this area that allows new diagnostic tests and therapies to be developed, meaning that severely injured people can recover to an even healthy version of themselves! 

 

Specialised/Technical Skills  

Laboratory techniques 

  • Flow cytometry 
  • Molecular biology (DNA/RNA extraction, qPCR, molecular cloning) 
  • Protein purification 
  • Enzymology 
  • Structural biology 
  • In silico drug screening 
  • Protein assays (ELISA, western blot, ligand binding, enzyme assays) 
  • Clinical specimen handling/processing 
  • Mammalian cell culture 
  • Bacterial cell culture 

Clinical research skills 

  • Human research ethics 
  • Clinical research design (particularly biospecimen research) 
  • RedCap database generation/management 
  • Data linkage 

 

Affiliations 

  • HMRI Injury and Trauma Research Program (Deputy Chair) 
  • Hunter New England Health Trauma Service 
  • Surgical Science Laboratory (Manager) 
  • HMRI Infection Program (Collaborator) 
  • AO Trauma