NICM HRI Phd Graduate

13 August 2020

Congratulations to NICM Health Research Institute higher degree research student, Ms Yu-Ting Sun, who has successfully completed her PhD and received official notification of graduation.

Yu-Ting’s thesis investigated the pharmacological effects of Nao Xin Qing (NXQ), a standardised herbal extract, for ischaemic stroke (stroke due to blood flow to the brain being blocked by a blood clot) – using in vitro and in vivo methods.

While current conventional treatments for ischaemic stroke focus on restoring blood flow and stopping further damage, they are also seen to have limitations on neuron (brain cell) damage or restoring damaged neurological functions.

Through her research, supervised by Professor Dennis Chang, Yu-Ting determined that NXQ does offer vascular protective effects that can protect endothelial cells (cells that line our blood vessels) from reperfusion-induced damage (damage caused by the restoration of blood flow to an organ or tissue). In addition, NXQ has properties that can aid the creation of new blood vessels and facilitate the restoration of blood flow which can help in ischaemic stroke recovery.

The study is a great achievement for Yu-Ting and research into stroke, one of the major causes of death and disability worldwide.

Following the completion of her PhD, Yu-Ting is now employed fulltime by Western Sydney University as the Lecturer of Traditional Chinese Medicine program in the School of Health Sciences. She is hoping to continue research in the area of neurocognition and cardiovascular health in the future.