Dr Van der Walt is a Neurologist and NHMRC Early Career Fellow with appointments at the University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital where she is appointed as the Director of Clinical Trials, MS Unit. She hold honorary positions at the Bionics institute, University of Melbourne and Monash University. Dr Van der Walt is a consultant neuro-ophthalmologist at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital and have recently been appointed the Head of the neuro-ophthalmology clinic at Royal Melbourne Hospital.
• NHMRC Early Career Fellowship, 2017 – 2021 • Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Melbourne Scholarship, 2016 • Principal Investigator (CIA), NHMRC Grant #1085461 2015-2019; $530,000 • Associate Investigator: NHMRC Grant #628415, 2010-2013 and National MS Society grant #RG4211A4/2 2010-2013 • Scholarships: 2008-2012: NHMRC Post-graduate Scholarship; 2016: University of Melbourne, MDHS Research Fellowship; 2013-2015: Melbourne Brain Centre, Post-doctoral Scholarship; 2009-2011: Warren Hayes Foundation Fellowship; 2009-2011: Sanofi Aventis postgraduate support; 2008: Bayer Schering Multiple Sclerosis Fellowship • Other Grants: 2016 University of Melbourne, MDHS Research grant, $20,000; Merck Serono Research Grant 2011($30,000); Friends of the RMH Neuroscience Foundation Research Grant, 2008; GSK Post-graduate support package 2009-2010 ($ 50,000); Biogen Idec Research Grant 2009- 2012 ($50,000)
Education and training
University of Melbourne 2012
University of Pretoria 1998
Awards and honors
Cleveland prize, Royal Melbourne Hospital,
Stephen Gold award for bet National MS Society Research Grant,
Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians,
Available for supervision
Dr Van der Walt leads a multi-centre national and international collaboration implementing novel technologies to monitor cognitive changes in MS. She have contributed to the field of advanced neuroimaging techniques and paraclinical measurements of visual dysfunction in MS with biomarkers now being applied in clinical trials of neuroprotective therapies. She is a clinical trialist with strong industry collaborations that include protocols for translating investigational products such as anti-LINGO and 6-Shogaol into clinical practice. A further area of research is understanding neural networks of the cerebellum as it relates to movement disorders in MS. This work has led to changes in routine care of disabling MS tremor. She currently leads a NHMRC- funded project investigating the use of Botulinum toxin for the treatment of MS tremor. Collaborations with the Bionics institute at the University of Melbourne has resulted in the development of new technology (3D motion tracking) to improve tremor detection. An emerging area of work (in close collaboration with the Department of Speech Pathology at University Melbourne) is the development of refined speech analysis in MS that may serve as a marker of progressive cerebellar dysfunction in MS.