Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Monash teaching commitment

Theme III and Assessment (0.8 FTE)

Graduate Entry Medicine Program, Monash Rural Health-Gippsland

Monash Rural Health


Community service

2015-2016- Secretary, Society for Claustrum Research

2014- Director, Society for Claustrum Research (501-3(c) corporation, USA)

2014-2015 President, Society for Claustrum Research

2012- : Academic Editor- PeerJ

2010- : Faculty of 1000 Biology- Associate Faculty Member

2011-2016: CSIRO Scientists in Schools- Partner Scientist




I completed my PhD at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, USA. After working in in pharmaceutical R&D, I returned to academic research in 2006, in the Sensory Systems and Cognitive Neuroscience laboratory in the Department of Physiology at Monash University. I currently hold a combined teaching and research appointment in the graduate entry medicine program at the Gippsland campus.

My research interests have spanned a wide variety of model systems and topics surrounding the primary question of how the brain combines external sensory information with stored representations and emotional information to form a coherent picture of the outside world. Since 2011, I have been studying the functional organization of the claustrum, a brain nucleus which has dense connections to most of the other areas of the brain, and seems to be involved in large-scale changes in activity across brain regions when an organism needs to redirect attention or identify salient features in the environment, although this remains controversial.

Interest in the claustrum has blossomed in recent years, as evidence builds that it is a key component of the organization of normal mental activity, and may even play a role in the formation of consciousness itself. This burst of activity has resulted in publication of special editions devoted to the claustrum in several major journals, including the Journal of Comparative Neurology- Claustrum and Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience (available as an E-Book at Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience-Claustrum). 

In 2013, I co-founded the Society for Claustrum Research, an international scientific organization devoted to study of the structure and function of the claustrum. 

Education/Academic qualification

Neuroscience, PhD, Albert Einstein College of Medicine

Award Date: 1 Jun 2000

Research area keywords

  • claustrum
  • functional networks
  • sensory systems
  • cerebral cortex
  • neuroanatomy
  • medical education


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