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Norman Saunders

Professorial Fellow in Neuroscience, The University of Melbourne

Professor Norman R Saunders, Professorial Fellow in Neuroscience.

Educated University College London/University College Hospital (1957-1967, BSc, Hons, PhD, MBBS).

Staff member UCL to 1986 (Reader, Sub Dean & Tutor, Medical Faculty). Then head Dept Physiology & Pharmacology, University of Southampton; head Anatomy & Physiology, with responsibility for Pharmacology, University of Tasmania. Moved to University of Melbourne 2002.

Main research interests:

i) Barrier mechanisms in developing brain (since 1969). Internationally recognised as premier group in field. Pioneered use of fetal sheep and neonatal marsupials, multidisciplinary approach (in vivo physiology, morphology including EM and immunohistochemistry, immunology, biochemistry, molecular biology, molecular modeling). 94 peer reviewed original articles and invited reviews since 1972 (4605 citations). Involved in substantial international collaborations (Copenhagen, Bergen, Gothenburg, Lyon (INSERM) Calgary, Edinburgh, KCL, Oxford, Stanford).

ii) Response of developing nervous system to trauma in neonatal marsupials (S. American opossum and tammar wallaby) using similar multidisciplinary and international collaborative approach. One monograph & 16 papers (504 citations); national (CSIRO Canberra, Monash) & international collaborations with groups in Biozentrum, Basel, Switzerland; SISSA, Trieste, Italy;, Miami, Stanford, USA.

iii) Comparative neocortical development. 27 papers, 899 citations; collaborations with CSIRO, Canberra, Oxford, Copenhagen, Gothenberg, UC Davis.

iv) Design and development of real time physical sailing simulators through my company Virtual Sailing Pty Ltd ( Clinical trials in Auckland, Melbourne & Baltimore. Currently developing an R & D network in the US involving 5-6 centres. Supervised 10 PhD students since coming to Australia in 1992. All completed on time and have moved to research/academic institutions including Oxford, Stanford, KCL, EPFL, McGill, Gothenberg, Miami, Drexel. Research support from NIH, EU-FP7, NHMRC, ARC, Transport Accident Commission, Victoria; MAIB, Tasmania and MAIC, Queensland.


  • –present
    Professorial Fellow in Neuroscience, University of Melbourne