PROFILES OF ACADEMIC STAFF

David Allen

David Allen was appointed to a Chair of Physiology at the University of Sydney in 1989. He trained in Physiology and Medicine at University College in London and then, after one year of clinical work, returned to study for a PhD in cardiac physiology. The award of a British American Heart Foundation Travelling Fellowship enabled him to visit the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. There he developed the first method for measuring intracellular calcium in cardiac muscle using the luminescent protein aequorin. On returning to University College, as a Lecturer and then Reader, he developed these methods and published a series of studies defining the relation between intracellular calcium and contraction in cardiac muscle. In recent years he has developed fluorescent indicators to measure a range of ions inside cells and has particular interests in cardiac ischaemia and muscle fatigue.

Max Bennett

Max Bennett was appointed in 1983 to the second personal chair in the history of the University of Sydney (the first was to Robert May, the discoverer of Chaos Theory). He graduated in Electrical Engineering at the University of Melbourne in 1963 and subsequently did a PhD in Zoology at that university. During this time he discovered the non-adrenergic non-cholinergic (NANC) neurons of the autonomic nervous system and calcium action potentials in autonomic tissues. In 1966 he was invited to join the Department of Physiology, the University of Sydney, where he founded the Neurobiology Laboratory. In 1982 this was granted the largest personal research centre of excellence grant for that year, due to the discovery in the 1970s of the mechanisms of neuromuscular synapse formation. Max Bennett was elected to the Australian Academy of Science in 1980 and became President of the Australian Neuroscience Society in 1989. In 1993 he chaired the opening and lectured at a Stockholm Symposium on the synapse, organized by the Nobel Committee in Physiology or Medicine and, in 1995, gave an opening plenary lecture on synaptic transmission at the World Congress of Neuroscience in Japan.

Liam Burke

Liam Burke obtained his PhD from University College London and joined the staff of The Department of Physiology in 1956, becoming Associate Professor in 1965 and Professor in 1967. He retired in 1987 but has continued to do research, especially in collaboration with Professor Bogdan Dreher and Dr Chun Wang, and also does a little teaching. His association with his younger colleagues and with students keeps him young and he thinks now he might just go on forever.

Simon Carlile

Dr Simon Carlile did his undergraduate and graduate training at the University of Sydney. His PhD thesis work examined the bioacoustic and physiological basis of the representation of auditory space in the mammalian auditory nervous system. He spent five years in Oxford as a postdoctoral fellow and then a Beit Memorial Fellow and Junior Research Fellow of Green College Oxford. During this time he worked in the multidisciplinary sensory neuroscience group led by Colin Blakemore. In 1993 he moved back to the University of Sydney as a Lecturer in Neuroscience in the Department of Physiology and has established the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. The Laboratory has a broad focus with current work ranging from the bioacoustics of outer ear, the psychophysics of real and virtual auditory space as well as the neurophysiological mechanisms that result in neural representations of auditory space. He also has interests in the applications of information technology to medical education and has lectured and tutored in History and Philosophy of Science.

David Cook

David Cook joined the Department of Physiology as a Lecturer in 1985, becoming Associate Professor in 1991. His research has focussed on the role of ion channels and other transporters in cellular function. He was awarded an MD in 1995, and in 1996 the significance of this work was recognized by the award of the Gottschalk Medal of the Australian Academy of Science. In addition to his work within the Department of Physiology, he is Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine, serves on the Central Sydney Area Health Service Human Ethics Committee and chairs the Clinical Trials Sub-Committee at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Lynne Cottee

Lynne Cottee gained her PhD from the University of Sydney in 1972. From 1973 to 1975 she held a NIH post-doctoral fellowship at Duke University Medical School, Durham, North Carolina. In 1976 she was appointed a Lecturer in Physiology at the University of Sydney and subsequently became a part-time NHMRC Research Fellow. After some years of part-time research, Dr Cottee returned to the teaching staff of the Department and continued research in collaboration with Prof Max Bennett. Her present work concentrates on studies of neuromuscular synaptic relationships in smooth muscle.

Roger Dampney

Roger Dampney is a Reader in the Department of Physiology of the University of Sydney. He graduated in science and in 1973 gained his PhD. He then spent two years in the United States and Italy as an Overseas Research Fellow of the Life Insurance Medical Research Foundation. He was appointed as a Lecturer in the Department of Physiology in 1977, and has since that time pursued his research on the central mechanisms that regulate the cardiovascular system. He was elected to the Board of the Institute for Biomedical Research in 1995 and was awarded a DSc in 1996.

David Davey

David Davey gained his PhD from the Department of Physiology, McGill University in 1970, and then undertook two years of post-doctoral training in Anatomy at McGill and Zoology at The University of Bristol as a Fellow of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. After a year at Monash University, he moved to The University of Sydney in 1974, first as a Lecturer. Apart from a year as Visiting Professor back at McGill, he has remained at Sydney where he is now Head of Department. He has been particularly active in establishing the computer network within the Department and Faculty of Medicine.

Miriam Frommer

Miriam Frommer gained her PhD from the University of London in 1970. She has taught Physiology to medical students in England, and to medical, dentistry, pharmacy and science students at the University of Sydney, as well as orthoptics and physiotherapy students at Cumberland College of Health Sciences. She is actively involved in the planning and implementation of the postgraduate medical degree, with a special interest in student learning, and is also restructuring the dentistry and science courses, for which she is the course supervisor. Her own family of three children has given her a special insight into the needs of students, and she has functioned as a student advocate within her department for many years.

Joseph Hoh

Joseph Hoh was a BSc(Med) student in the Department of Physiology in 1960. After graduating in medicine and lecturing at The University of Malaya, he gained his PhD from the Australian National University in 1969 working on muscle mechanics. He became interested in myosin, the molecular motor which underlies muscle contraction, and worked for two years in The University of Illinois in Chicago before joining the Department of Physiology in 1971. In 1981 Dr Hoh was promoted to Reader and in 1992 he was awarded a DSc. His research has focussed on the structure, function and regulation of various forms of myosin in skeletal and cardiac muscles using a multidisciplinary approach. His current work is on molecular motors in jaw and eye muscles.

Nickolas Lavidis

Nick Lavidis holds the appointment of RD Wright Fellow in addition to his appointment, in 1995, as Senior Lecturer in the Department of Physiology. He gained his PhD from the University of Sydney in 1984 and in 1991 was awarded an RD Wright Fellowship by the NHMRC to study the development of tolerance and dependence to opiates. He has collaborated extensively with Prof Max Bennett and other researchers in Australia and overseas. In 1995 Dr Lavidis established the Narcotics Research Laboratory. His present work concentrates on studying the adaptive nature of neurons and nerve terminals.

Paul Martin

Paul Martin was appointed as Lecturer in 1991. After obtaining his PhD in physiology in 1986 at the University of Sydney, he was awarded a research fellowship of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to engage in postdoctoral training in Germany. This work, first at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, then at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt, comprised investigations of the anatomical and physiological basis of colour and form perception in humans and other primates. Since returning to the University of Sydney he has continued and expanded on these research interests, and has built up a team with expertise in a wide range of techniques ranging from single cell recording to immunocytochemistry and image analysis. Beside this research program he is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching.

Rebecca Mason

Rebecca Mason is a medical graduate from the University of Sydney. Her PhD studies on clinical applications of vitamin D metabolite assays were undertaken in the Bone and Mineral Laboratory of Professor Sol Posen at Sydney Hospital. After the award of an NHMRC Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship, she moved with the Bone and Mineral Group to Royal North Shore Hospital in 1983, where she has served as a Clinical Assistant at Endocrine Outpatients and as a Clinical Tutor. In 1988, she was appointed to a Lectureship in the Department of Physiology and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1991. Her research interests, which stem from a common link with Vitamin D, are bone and mineral endocrinology and the mechanisms of adaptive responses to UV irradiation.

Brian Morris

Brian Morris graduated with first class Honours in Science at The University of Adelaide, South Australia in 1972, completed his PhD at Monash and Melbourne Universities in 1975 when he was awarded a CJ Martin Fellowship to further his studies in the USA, first at The University of Missouri, Columbia for a year and then at The University of California, San Francisco. During his second year at the latter he was an Advanced Fellow of the American Heart Association's Northern California branch. He returned to Australia to take up a Lectureship in the Department of Physiology at the University of Sydney in 1978 and to set up the first recombinant DNA laboratory on the campus of that university. In 1988 he was promoted to Reader. Distinctions include the award of the Edgeworth David Medal for Science in 1985 and in 1993 a DSc for his contributions to molecular studies of hypertension, which have included over 160 publications.

Bill Phillips

Dr Bill Phillips gained his PhD from the University of Sydney in 1987. This was followed by postdoctoral research at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, USA, for which he was awarded the Osserman Fellowship by the Myasthenia Gravis Foundation (USA). He returned to take up a Lectureship in the Department of Physiology and establish the Molecular Neuroscience Laboratory in 1993. He is co-organizer of the Anderson Stuart Seminar Series and of a recent course of seminars on Techniques in Molecular Biology which has been popular with graduate students and other researchers from across Sydney. His present work focuses on the molecules involved in the formation and modification of connections between nerves and their target cells.

Irene Schneider

Irene Schneider gained her BSc, with majors in Physiology and Pharmacology, from the University of New South Wales, and completed her MSc(Qual.) in the Department of Physiology. She has remained in this department since that time working as a research assistant to Dr. Hoh in the Muscle Research Laboratory, and more recently as Associate Lecturer, teaching physiology to science, medical and dentistry students.

Ann Sefton

Ann Sefton has graduated in medicine and did her BSc(Med) and PhD at the University of Sydney. She was awarded a DSc in 1990. Apart from sabbaticals in London and Pittsburgh, her work has been undertaken in the Department of Physiology. Her research interests have been in the area of the structure and function of the visual system and its development. She has also had a long-standing commitment to teaching. At present, she is an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Medicine with responsibilities for developing the new four-year graduate medical curriculum.

John Young

John Atherton Young is Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Sydney and Professor of Physiology and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Health Sciences). He is a prominent physiologist who has played an important role in international and national physiological societies. He is Field Editor of the European Journal of Physiology, a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, a foreign member of both the British and the American Physiology Societies and a corresponding member of the German Physiological Society. He was appointed an Office in the Order of Australia in 1994.


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