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Dr Sophie Payne

Dr Payne is a Research Fellow, who completed a Bachelor of Science with honours, then a PhD at the University of Western Australia, where she investigated long-term effects of injury in the visual system.

Before moving to the Bionics Institute in 2015, Sophie’s first post doctorate position was with Professor Janet Keast at the University of Melbourne. In this role, Sophie assessed the regeneration and repair of the peripheral nervous system.

Sophie loves the translational nature of the work at the Bionics Institute, and hopes that her research will help patients one day. It is really important to Sophie that her research doesn’t just end up forgotten on a dusty shelf somewhere and that it helps to tackle real life problems for patients suffering from terrible, debilitating diseases.

The science is fascinating to Sophie and the outcomes are “very good for the soul”. Sophie finds the people she works with incredible, a common theme amongst our researchers’ stories.

When asked if there is something in particular that she is passionate about within her area of work, Sophie replies without hesitation, “I love the vagus nerve! This nerve contacts most of the organs in your body and we are harnessing it to treat inflammatory bowel disease, arthritis and diabetes. How cool is that?”

Sophie has enjoyed being able to impart her knowledge and passion for her research through various mentorship programs for university students, recent graduates and presentations to non-scientific community groups. She has also played an active role in providing mentorship to high school students through the Bionics Institute’s Mentoring Girls in STEMM program.

I never thought my research could improve the lives of patients, but here at the Bionics Institute that is now my reality Dr Sophie Payne

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