Dr. Elizabeth New is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney. Since 2012, she has built a team of 18 researchers, and has developed a strong network of more than 30 collaborators internationally. Her research focuses on developing tools to enable an understanding of the fundamental chemistry of the body to enable new insights into many of the key questions in medical research, including the location of disease-causing chemicals or drug molecules, the perturbation of chemical environments in disease, and the role of chemical signalling molecules in health. To this end, she develops chemical tools that advance the understanding of the chemistry within cells, preparing fluorescent sensors that emit light to visualise biochemical changes in the body caused by disease, lighting up where and how the body is experiencing oxidative stress.
Her principal focus is on the diseases of ageing, where she explores the action of antioxidants in countering oxidative stress, but her sensors have found application across many fields of medical research. She has reported ten new sensors, one that is capable of indicating the effect of copper levels in Alzheimer’s disease and another that shows how oxidative stress is essential in fat breakdown and even in embryonic development. She has also developed sensors that observe how cancer treatments such as cisplatin have effect within the cell. Her research excellence has been recognised by numerous awards and by invitations to present her work at many international conferences and in research seminars.
Dr. New is also passionate about developing a love of chemistry with students by promoting active engagement in the learning process, winning several national awards. Dr. New has received two student lectureships to travel throughout two Australian states, speaking at more than 30 high schools about fluorescence and its applications. She has made many original and innovative contributions across her teaching, such as introducing partially flipped classrooms into 1st year teaching, and redeveloping the 2nd year laboratory curriculum, incorporating a range of research-led investigation exercises. Dr. New is passionate about advancing the careers of early-mid career researchers (EMCRs), to this end she has served on the executive of the EMCR Forum of the Australian Academy of Science, and as EMCR representative on the National Committee for Chemistry.