Dezerae Cox

Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Bio21 Institute, University of Melbourne

Melbourne, VIC

Contact me for

  • mentoring
  • sitting on boards or committees
  • outreach activities
  • conference presenting
  • opportunities to collaborate

Biography

Dezerae is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne, where she works on understanding the fundamental machinery that keeps our cells healthy. This machinery, known as the proteostasis network, breaks down as we age, and its failure is a leading cause of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, Huntington's and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) diseases. Dezerae completed her PhD at the University of Wollongong, during which time she characterised the interaction of small heat shock molecular chaperone proteins with the Parkinson's disease-related α-synuclein. She received three oral presentation awards for this work, which has significantly contributed to a re-evaluation of chaperone activity and represents a fundamental shift our understanding of molecular chaperone mechanism of action. After conferral of her doctoral degree in December 2016, Dezerae joined the Hatters Laboratory where she now develops and applies novel proteomics-based biosensors of protein foldedness in live cells. One such innovative biosensor recently published in Nature Communications (2018) quantitatively explores, for the first time, the proteostasis capacity of cells derived from disease models or taken from patients. This work has the potential to have significant, far-reaching and immediate benefit for a diverse range of diseases and has led to oral presentations at two flagship national conferences in 2018. Dezerae continues to drive advances in our understanding of the fundamental biology underlying proteostasis breakdowns in neurodegenerative protein aggregation, with the overarching goal of developing preventative measures, improved diagnostic techniques and better, targeted therapies.