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.

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.

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, 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. In 1996 Max received premier recognition for biomedical research in Australia with the award of the Ramaciotti Medal and Perpetual Trustees Prize. He also received the Goddard Prize of the National Heart Foundation. His new book, The Idea of Consciousness, has recently been published.

Simon Carlile

Simon Carlile did his undergraduate and graduate training in the Department. 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 Department as a Lecturer, and has established the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory. This 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 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 1997 he was appointed as The University of Sydney Medical Foundation Fellow of the Faculty of Medicine. In addition to his work within the Department of Physiology, he 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, was appointed to a personal chair from 1997. He graduated in science and in 1973 gained his PhD in this Department. 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 in 1977, and has since that time pursued his research on the central mechanisms that regulate the cardiovascular system. He 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 in the Department. 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 the Department's medical, dentistry, pharmacy and science students enrolled at the University of Sydney, as well as orthoptics and physiotherapy students at Cumberland College of Health Sciences. She is actively involved in the new graduate medical program, 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 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 at The University of Illinois in Chicago before joining the Department 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.

Paul Martin

Paul Martin was appointed as Lecturer in 1991 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1996. He obtained his PhD in 1986 for research in the Department. His postdoctoral training in visual neuroscience was in Germany: first at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen, then at the Max Planck Institute for Brain Research in Frankfurt. Since returning to the Department he has built up a team with expertise in a wide range of techniques ranging from single cell recording and linear systems analysis to immunocytochemistry and image processing. Beside this research program he is actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate teaching and learning, both in the traditional curriculum and in the new Graduate Medical Program.

Rebecca Mason

Rebecca Mason is a medical graduate from this University. 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, became a Senior Lecturer in 1991 and Associate Professor in 1997. 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 in 1978 and to set up the first recombinant DNA laboratory on this campus. 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 170 publications.

Christopher O'Neill

Christopher O'Neill graduated with First Class Honours in Science at The University of Newcastle, NSW in 1980 and completed his PhD in 1984 at the same institution. He spent 1983 at the Department of Veterinary Physiology, The University of Sydney as a Research Assistant, and the early part of 1984 as a Wellcome-Ramaciotti Travelling Fellow at the Institute of Zoology in London, UK. In July 1994 he was appointed as a Senior Scientist in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Royal North Shore Hospital of Sydney and was made Director of the Human Reproduction Unit at the same Institution in 1990. At The University of Sydney, he has held the positions of Clinical Lecturer in Human Reproduction (1985-1987), Honorary Associate, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (1988-90), Clinical Associate Professor, Departments of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Physiology (1991-present). He has received prizes and awards for his research from The Australian Society for Reproductive Biology (1984), The Australian Fertility Society (1984), The Department of Biological Sciences, University of Newcastle (1985) and The American Fertility Society (1989).

Bill Phillips

Bill Phillips gained his PhD in 1987 for research in the Department. This was followed by post-doctoral training 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) for his work on proteins involved in formation of synapses in muscle. He returned to take up a Lectureship in the Department 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 employs the techniques of molecular and cell biology to dissect the interactions between proteins involved in the formation and modification of connections between nerves and their target cells.

Paul Pilowsky

Paul Pilowsky completed a BM BS at Flinders Medical Centre and a BMedSc(Hons) in the Department of Physiology. After completing an internship at Flinders Medical Centre in 1983 he worked towards a PhD with Professor John Chalmers. This was followed by Post-Doctoral work with Professor Janusz Lipski as a CJ Martin Fellow of the NHMRC and the Ralph Reader Fellow of the National Heart Foundation. Subsequently, he returned to Flinders where he became an RD Wright Fellow. He is now a Research Fellow of the NHMRC and an Associate Professor in Physiology at The University of Sydney. His `Hypertension and Stroke Research Group' has its Laboratories based at the Royal North Shore Hospital where he is a member of the Department of Neurosurgery. The Co-Chief Investigator of this group is Professor John Chalmers. Senior members of the group are Associate Professor Michael Morgan (Head of Neurosurgery), Dr Qi-Jian Sun (Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation Training Fellow) and Dr Ann Goodchild (NHMRC SRO). Awards inlude the Elizabeth Penfold Simpson Award from the Australian Brain Foundation, and joint winner of the RT Hall prize from the Australian Cardiac Society. He has been awarded numerous external grants, and his work has resulted in more than 80 scientific publications. His studies aim to unravel the neural circuits that control breathing and blood pressure.

Irene Schneider

Irene Schneider gained her BSc, with majors in Physiology and Pharmacology, from the University of New South Wales, and then completed her MSc(Qual.) in the department. She has been involved in research work in the field of muscle development and is currently an Associate Lecturer. She teaches physiology to science, medical science, medical, dentistry and pharmacy students.

Ann Sefton

Ann Sefton completed a BSc(Med), an MB BS and a PhD at this University and apart from sabbaticals in London and Pittsburgh, her research work has been undertaken in this Department. Her scientific interests have been in the area of the structure and function of the visual system and its development for which she was awarded a DSc in 1990. She has also had a long-standing commitment to teaching and has had a long-standing involvement with the Academic Board of the University. At present, she is an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Medicine with responsibilities for developing the four-year graduate medical curriculum which commenced in 1997 and is a Deputy Chair of the Academic Board.

John Atherton Young

John Atherton Young is 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 currently the President of the Australian Physiological and Pharmacological Society, Vice President of the Federation of Asian and Oceanian Physiological Societies, and a member of the Council of the International Union of Physiological Sciences. 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 as an Officer in the Order of Australia in 1994.


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