Dr Samantha Barton

Group Head

Parkville Campus
30 Royal Parade
Parkville Victoria 3052

Research group
Myelin in Health and Disease Group

Headshot_Samantha Barton


Dr Samantha Barton is a Rebecca L. Cooper Al & Val Rosenstrauss Medical Research Fellow working in the Myelin in Health and Disease Group at The Florey.

Dr Barton completed her PhD in 2015 at Monash University, studying white matter damage in a model of pre-term birth. She was awarded an NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship and completed her first post-doctorate at the University of Edinburgh, learning cutting-edge techniques in the handling of patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells and their differentiation into 2D and 3D neural cultures. This allowed her to delve more in-depth into the underlying pathomechanisms of white matter dysfunction.

Dr Barton joined The Florey in 2018, where she continued researching motor neurone diseases, more specifically, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Her research goals are to understand the role of non-neuronal cells like oligodendrocytes (the major cell type of the white matter) in motor neurone disease. She uses human iPSC from patients with motor neuron disease and differentiates them into three-dimensional organoids containing the key neural cell types, including myelinating oligodendrocytes. This allows phenotypic and functional analysis compared to iPSC-derived organoids from otherwise healthy control patients or isogenic control lines. She also uses mouse models and human post-mortem tissue to validate her findings.

Key collaborators:

Professor Siddharthan Chandran, University of Edinburgh, UK
Professor Colin Smith, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr Bhuvaneish Selvaraj, University of Edinburgh, UK
Dr Jenna Gregory, University of Edinburgh, UK

Career highlights

Awards and achievements

  • 2023 — Brain Australia Grant-in-aid of Medical Research grant
  • 2022 — NHMRC Ideas Grant
  • 2022 — FightMND IMPACT grant
  • 2021 — Rebecca L. Cooper Foundation Al & Val Rosenstrauss Fellowship
  • 2020 — Research award from the Jane Frances Hayes and Frederick William Hayes Charitable Trust
  • 2020 — CASS Medicine/Science Research grant
  • 2020 — Bethlehem Griffiths Research Foundation research grant
  • 2020 — MND RA Jenny Simko Research Grant
  • 2018 — Deanery of Clinical Sciences funding challenge grant
  • 2016 — NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellowship

Research publications


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