Senior lecturer in Pharmacology, University of Adelaide

I am a molecular pharmacologist who works at the University of Adelaide, Australia. I have a broad interest in the understanding of how surface receptors can modulate neuronal function and survival, as well as interests in natural product pharmacology and drug design. As well I am interested in evolutionary biology, science communication (committee member of SA Science Communicators) and am an avid amateur astronomer. My astronomy blog is astroblog.

I did postdoctoral work in the Institute of Pharmacology at the Free University of Berlin in 1991-1994, returning to Australia in 1994. I have collaborated with Professor John Carver, Dr. Scot Smid and Professor Colin Barrow on using natural products to attack the neurodegeneration process in Alzheimer’s Disease. I was recently elected as convenor of the Toxicology Special Interest Group of the Australasian Society for Pharmacology and Toxicology. I am also collaborating with Professor Roger Byard on the forensic implications of herbal medicines. I have held NH&MRC funding and currently hold ARC funding.

Experience

  • 2001–present
    Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide

Education

  • 1989 
    University of Melbourne, PhD (Pharmacology)

Publications

  • 2016
    The Amyloid Fibril-Forming Properties of the Amphibian Antimicrobial Peptide Uperin 3.5., Chembiochem.
  • 2016
    Bioactive polyphenol interactions with β amyloid: a comparison of binding modelling, effects on fibril and aggregate formation and neuroprotective capacity., Food Funct.
  • 2016
    Evidence For and Against a Pathogenic Role of Reduced γ-Secretase Activity in Familial Alzheimer's Disease., J Alzheimers Dis.
  • 2016
    Caffeine toxicity in forensic practice: possible effects and under-appreciated sources., Forensic Sci Med Pathol
  • 2015
    Alzheimer's disease-related peptide PS2V plays ancient, conserved roles in suppression of the unfolded protein response under hypoxia and stimulation of γ-secretase activity., Hum Mol Genet.
  • 2015
    A comparison of patterns of spontaneous adverse drug reaction reporting with St. John's Wort and fluoxetine during the period 2000-2013., Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol.
  • 2015
    Combined DNA, toxicological and heavy metal analyses provides an auditing toolkit to improve pharmacovigilance of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM)., Sci Rep
  • 2014
    Forensic problems with the composition and content of herbal medicines., J Forensic Leg Med.
  • 2014
    Lethal hepatocellular necrosis associated with herbal polypharmacy in a patient with chronic hepatitis B infection., Forensic Sci Int.
  • 2014
    SEVI, the semen enhancer of HIV infection along with fragments from its central region, form amyloid fibrils that are toxic to neuronal cells., Biochim Biophys Acta.
  • 2014
    Hemin as a generic and potent protein misfolding inhibitor., Biochem Biophys Res Commun.
  • 2010
    Herbal medicines and forensic investigations, Forensic Sci Med Pathol.
  • 2010
    alphaB-Crystallin inhibits the cell toxicity associated with amyloid fibril formation , Cell Stress Chaperones
  • 2009
    (-)-epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) maintains kappa-casein in its pre-fibrillar state ..., J Mol Biol

Grants and Contracts

  • 2016
    In vitro toxicology assessment of herbal medicines
    Role:
    Co-investigator
    Funding Source:
    Curtin University Small Grant
  • 2014
    New Models of Alzhemier's disease
    Role:
    Co-investigator
    Funding Source:
    University of Adelaide Internal Grant
  • 2013
    APP1061329 Development of 'omics-based approaches to investigate labelling accuracy and legality of herbal medicine in Australia
    Role:
    Co-investigator
    Funding Source:
    National Health and Medical Research Council
  • 2010
    Enzymatic synthesis, microencapsulation and biological evaluation of a new class of ...
    Role:
    Co-investigator
    Funding Source:
    ARC

Professional Memberships

  • Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists
  • Australasian Neuroscience Society

Research Areas

  • Food Engineering (090802)
  • Biocatalysis And Enzyme Technology (100301)
  • Basic Pharmacology (111501)
  • Cell Neurochemistry (060105)
  • Natural Products Chemistry (030502)