20082020

Research activity per year

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Personal profile

Biography

POSITIONS HELD

ARC DECRA Fellow

Co-director of the Integrated Neurogenic Mechanisms Laboratory with Dr Daniel Poole and Dr Nicholas Veldhuis in Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Drug Discovery Biology - MIPS

MIPS Teaching Fellow 

Broad research program: The gut has an independent nervous system (Enteric Nervous System) which controls its functions such as bowel movement and absorbing nutrients. We aim to identify new ways to modulate the actions of this nervous system.

Research Impact: By identifying new sites that modulate the ENS, they can be targeted to treat a range of gut disorders (Hirschsprung Disease, Constipation, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Inflammatory Bowel Disease) 

Expertise: electrophysiology, enteric neurobiology, GI pharmacology, collaborate with clinical teams and industry.

Monash teaching commitment

MIPS Teaching Fellow (2018-present) This scheme aims to identify future leaders in research and provide them with teaching opportunities. 

Curriculum design: Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Science Degree.

Lecturer: BPS2011 Pharmacology I: Biochemical signalling- designed interactive lectures, workshops, online discovery material, practicals and exam questions on GI physiology and pathophysiology.

Previously delivered lectures and tutorials on physiology and neuroscience at Victoria University and Flinders University.

Research interests

We aim to identify ways the ENS can be modulated by targeting:

  • Specific sites on the enteric neurons: We study the roles of G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs) and mechanosensitive ion channels. Specific examples include delta-opioid receptors, muscarinic M1 receptor, Transient Receptor Potential channels (TRP) TRPV4 and Piezo 1.

Specific conditions of interest:

-The benefits of targeting GPCRs to promote/inhibit movement of the bowel using allosteric modulators

-Conditions promoting activation/internalisation/ desensitization of these receptors and ion channels

-The role of the inflamed bowel in altering the functions of these receptors and ion channels

 

  • Cells that modulate the actions of ENS: There are a series of cells that can alter or assist in the communication pathways of the ENS. We specifically study the actions of enteric glia and muscularis macrophages.

Specific conditions of interest:

-Understanding the differences in the functions of cells in the ageing bowel

-Understanding the differences between cells in the rodent bowel versus the human bowel

-Studying the cellular environment of the "normal" or ganglionated region in the Hirschsprung Bowel

-Determining why patients with Hirschsprung Disease are prone to developing inflammation

Supervision interests

Interested in recruiting students for a broad range of projects

External positions

Honorary Scientist, Murdoch Children's Research Institute

19 Feb 2019 → …

Honorary Scientist, Royal Melbourne Hospital

1 Jan 2015 → …

Network

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