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Personal profile



My PhD as an NHMRC Dora Lush Scholar at Monash University in Prof Richard Ferrero's lab discovered that Helicobacter pylori requires Vitamin B synthesis for motility and to survive the hostile environment of the stomach. After my PhD, I joined the laboratory of A/Prof Anthony White at the University of Melbourne, showing impaired subcellular biometal homeostasis and neuroinflammation in the childhood neurodegenerative disorders, Batten Diseases. I received the Melbourne Neuroscience Institute Fellowship in 2015, and in 2016, joined Prof Jose Polo’s lab at Monash University as an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow to focus on the molecular mechanisms that govern cell identity and the functional diversity of microglia in Alzheimer’s Disease. Our work involves cell culture, iPS differentiation to microglia, neurons and brain organoids, FACS, cloning, bulk and single cell RNA and ATAC sequencing and immunofluorescence. Throughout my entire career I have committed to excellence in student supervision (1 PhD student completed (1 current), 1 Masters, 4 Honours students, 5 undergraduate 3rd year students), and have secured $1.9M funding as CI to support my work.


My major discovery in Prof Polo’s lab, together with colleagues in Singapore (Prof Petretto and Dr Rackham at Duke NUS), unveiled specific single-cell changes in human AD patients and predicted transcription factors to convert cells from healthy to AD (Grubman Chew et al 2019 Nat Neuro). We generated an interactive web resource of single-cell transcriptomes in human Alzheimer’s disease (http://adsn.ddnetbio.com/), and used this resource to discover how genetic predisposition to Alzheimer’s disease manifests in specific brain cell subpopulations and predict the master switches involved. In collaboration with Prof Pouton (Monash University), our research provided additional resources, including a dual fluorescent microglia reporter line and an integrated comparison of iPS-derived microglia (Grubman Vandekolk et al 2020 Stem Cell Reports). 


Current research interests:

  1. Understanding the mechanisms governing cell identity and diversity in the Alzheimer’s brain
  2. Manipulating microglia as a therapeutic strategy for Alzheimer’s disease
  3. Cellular mechanisms by which diet and gut-brain axis impact cognition


Key Publications:


  1. Grubman A, Chew G, Ouyang JF, et al. A single-cell atlas of entorhinal cortex from individuals with Alzheimer’s disease reveals cell-type-specific gene expression regulation. Nature Neuroscience 22, 2087–2097 (2019). 
  2. Grubman A, Choo XY, Chew G, et. al. Mouse and human microglial phenotypes in Alzheimer’s disease are controlled by amyloid plaque phagocytosis through Hif1α. BioRxiv 2019 https://doi.org/10.1101/639054
  3. Grubman A, Vandekolk T, Schroder J, et. al. A CX3CR1 Reporter hESC Line Facilitates Integrative Analysis of In-Vitro-Derived Microglia and Improved Microglia Identity upon Neuron-Glia Co-culture Stem Cell Reports 14, 1-15 (2020)
  4. Grubman A, James SA, James J, et. al. X-ray fluorescence imaging reveals subcellular biometal disturbances in a childhood neurodegenerative disorder. Chemical Science 2014, 5(6): 2503-2516 
  5. Grubman A, Lidgerwood GE, Duncan, C, et. al. Deregulation of subcellular biometal homeostasis through loss of the metal transporter, Zip7, in a childhood neurodegenerative disorder. Acta Neuropathologica Communications, 2014, 2:25.
  6. Grubman A, Kaparakis M, Viala J, et. al. The innate immune molecule, Nod1, regulates direct killing of Helicobacter pylori by antimicrobial peptides. Cellular Microbiology 2010, 12: 626-39. 


Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or