Shafagh Waters

Senior research associate and lead scientist

School of Women and Children’s Health NSW, Australia



After completing her Masters in Genetics at the University of Otago, New Zealand on genetic biomarkers of adult brain tumours, Dr Waters received a scholarship to complete her PhD at ANU in Canberra, which was on epigenetic regulation of X chromosome inactivation. Dr Waters was awarded her PhD in 2012 and headed to UNSW as a post-doctoral researcher studying non-coding RNA-directed changes to gene expression in various cell types and disease models. From August 2016, Shafagh was appointed to senior research associate and lead scientist of the Australasian Centre for Personalised Cystic Fibrosis Medicine (ACPCFM) at the School of Women's and Children's Health at UNSW. Her main research project has a strong translational focus, and aims to discover small molecules and peptides that are effective in correcting the trafficking and functional defects exhibited by the CFTR mutation, while additionally addressing inter-individual human population variability. Additionally, Dr Waters is using cutting edge technology to grow stem cell-derived human 'mini organs', or organoids, from the tissues of patients with cystic fibrosis. Dr Waters has been successful in obtaining several research grants. She has collaborated with multiple leading global research groups for her work including Centre for gene therapy, City of Hope, USA. Dr Waters has been published in a number of journals including EMBO Journal, PLoS Genetics, Molecular Biology and Evolution and BMC Evolutionary Biology.