Dr Sophie Payne

Research Fellow, Bionics Institute PhD (Neuroscience) BSc Hons

Dr Sophie Payne

Dr Sophie Payne

Prior to joining the Bionics Institute, Sophie completed her PhD at the University of Western Australia (2009-2013), where she investigated long term effects of injury in the visual system. In 2012, Sophie started her first post doctorate position with Professor Janet Keast at the University of Melbourne (2013-2015) and assessed regeneration and repair of the peripheral nervous system.

Sophie started working at the Bionics Institute in 2015 on a project investigating neuromodulation of the vagus nerve for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. She works with a high profile team of neuroscientists, engineers, mathematical modellers and clinicians to generate proof-of-concept data required before this technology goes to clinical trials.

Recently, Sophie’s research has expanded to determine whether vagal nerve stimulation can be applied to treat other endemic diseases, such as Type II diabetes. Through collaborations with St. Vincent’s Hospital endocrinologists, pilot data has been generated to show that this novel Bionic therapeutic strategy could be used as a modality to help negate glycaemic variability in T2D.

Sophie has imparted her knowledge and passion for her research through mentorship programs for recent graduates, and presentations to non-scientific community groups. To get a better understanding of the diseases she works on, Sophie is a member of Crohn’s and Colitis Australia and the Diabetes Victoria. She is also on the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery steering committee, which promotes excellence in clinical research, and facilitates an annual symposium.

Research fields of interest

  • Development of medical bionics devices
  • Peripheral nerve stimulation as a treatment for:
    • Inflammatory Bowel disease
    • Diabetes
  • Central and peripheral nerve injury and repair

Research projects

  • Vagal nerve stimulation as a therapy for type II diabetes
  • Vagal nerve stimulation as a treatment of inflammatory bowel disease
  • Myelin sheath integrity and node morphology of the optic nerve following blindness (funded by the Early Career Research Scheme, University of Melbourne)

Selected Publications

  1. Payne, S. C., J. B. Furness, and M. J. Stebbing. 2018. Bioelectric neuromodulation for gastrointestinal disorders: effectiveness and mechanisms. Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology: [epub ahead of print]. doi: 1038/s41575-018-0078-6.
  2. O’Sullivan-Greene, E., T. Kameneva, D. Trevaks, A. Shafton, S. C. Payne, R. McAllen, J. B. Furness, and D. B. Grayden. 2018. Modeling experimental recordings of vagal afferent signaling of intestinal inflammation for neuromodulation. Journal of Neural Engineering: [epub ahead of print]. doi: 1088/1741-2552/aad96d.
  3. Payne, S. C., R. K. Shepherd, A. Sedo, J. B. Fallon, and J. B. Furness. 2018. An objective in vivo diagnostic method for inflammatory bowel disease. Royal Society Open Science. 5(3): 180107. doi: 10.1098/rsos.180107. Full Text
  4. Payne, S. C., P. J. Belleville, and J. R. Keast. 2015. Regeneration of sensory but not motor axons following visceral nerve injury. Experimental Neurology. 266: 127-142. doi: 1016/j.expneurol.2015.02.026.
  5. Wong, A. W., K. P. Yeung J, S. C. Payne, J. R. Keast, and P. B. Osborne. 2015. Neurite outgrowth in normal and injured primary sensory neurons reveals different regulation by nerve growth factor (NGF) and artemin. Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences. 65: 125-134. doi: 1016/j.mcn.2015.03.004.
  6. Forrest, S. L., S. C. Payne, J. R. Keast, and P. B. Osborne. 2015. Peripheral injury of pelvic visceral sensory nerves alters GFRalpha (GDNF family receptor alpha) localization in sensory and autonomic pathways of the sacral spinal cord. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. 9: 43. doi: 3389/fnana.2015.00043. Full Text
  7. Szymanski, C. R., W. Chiha, N. Morellini, N. Cummins, C. A. Bartlett, R. L. O’Hare Doig, D. L. Savigni, S. C. Payne, A. R. Harvey, S. A. Dunlop, and M. Fitzgerald. 2013. Paranode Abnormalities and Oxidative Stress in Optic Nerve Vulnerable to Secondary Degeneration: Modulation by 670 nm Light Treatment. PLoS ONE. 8(6): e66448. doi: 1371/journal.pone.0066448. Full Text
  8. Payne, S. C., C. A. Bartlett, D. L. Savigni, A. R. Harvey, S. A. Dunlop, and M. Fitzgerald. 2013. Early proliferation does not prevent the loss of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells during the chronic phase of secondary degeneration in a CNS white matter tract. PLoS ONE. 8(6): e65710. doi: 1371/journal.pone.0065710. Full Text
  9. Payne, S. C., C. A. Bartlett, A. R. Harvey, S. A. Dunlop, and M. Fitzgerald. 2012. Myelin sheath decompaction, axon swelling, and functional loss during chronic secondary degeneration in rat optic nerve. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. 53(10): 6093-6101. doi: 1167/iovs.12-10080. Full Text
  10. Payne, S. C., C. A. Bartlett, A. R. Harvey, S. A. Dunlop, and M. Fitzgerald. 2011. Chronic swelling and abnormal myelination during secondary degeneration after partial injury to a central nervous system tract. Journal of Neurotrauma. 28(6): 1077-1088. doi: 1089/neu.2010.1665.

See more publication at PubMed

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