The Hypertension and Stroke Research Laboratories are primarily affiliated to, and are members of, the Department of Physiology, University of Sydney and the Department of Neurosurgery, Royal North Shore Hospital. This page contains:
Details of Current Personnel
General Information

Current Personnel, 2007

Paul M Pilowsky 

Head of Research and Professor of Medical Physiology

Principal Research Fellow -NHMRC, Associate Dean

A/Professor Ann K Goodchild 

Australian School of Advanced Medicine

Professor Michael K Morgan 

Professor of Neurosurgery and Dean, Australian School of Advanced Medicine

Dr Qi-Jian Sun 

Rodney Williams and Garnett Passe Foundation Research Scientist

A/Prof Robert Berkowitz 

A/Prof. Otolaryngology, Melbourne

Dr Tina Lonergan

Australian School of Advanced Medicine

Dr Valin Reja

Chief Scientist, Corbett Research

Dr Simon McMullan

Australian School of Advanced Medicine

Ms Natasha Kumar

Research Assistant, Australian School of Advanced Medicine

Mr James Padley

Research Assistant, Australian School of Advanced Medicine

Ms Melissa Farnham

Doctoral student

Mr Todd Verner

Doctoral student

Mr Peter Burke

Doctoral student

Ms Cara Hildreth

Doctoral student

Mr Vikram Tallapragada

Doctoral student

Mr Stephen Abbott

Honours Student

Ms Tara Dalby

Honours Student

Mr James Willmott

Honours Student

Mr Susan Jia

Honours Student

Mr Darko Spirovski

Graduate Diploma Student

Ms Felicity Ryburn

Research Assistant, Dept of Anaesthesia


General Information
The Hypertension and Stroke Research Laboratories are concerned with understanding the basic central neuronal mechanisms that regulate the circulation of blood. The work is multidisciplinary, utilising a wide range of methodologies from molecular biology to systems physiology and electrophysiology.

In short, we seek to understand how the brain and spinal cord control blood pressure. To do this we need to know which genes, which neuronal pathways, which neurotransmitter and receptor systems and which cell signalling systems are involved. Studies are conducted in normal animals and in animals that are hypertensive.

 A wide range of projects is available for students interested in commencing Honours or Post-Graduate studies. A selection of these is detailed below but because the field moves quickly some of the more interesting projects may not appear on this site. We strongly encourage students to contact a senior member of the group (Prof Paul M Pilowsky or Dr Ann M Goodchild) on 9850 4015 or, to arrange a visit to the laboratories to discuss interests and needs.

In addition to a convivial multicultural gender-balanced working environment with ample facilities for desk-work and computers for word-processing, the Group maintains a separate molecular biology laboratory, a physiology/electrophysiology laboratory - with three separate rigs, an immunohistochemistry laboratory, two microscopes including facility for triple lable fluoresence. The laboratory is fully equipped for digital acquisition of all data.

 The Laboratories are two minutes walk from Macquarie Mall (with excellent food and soon a railway stop) permitting easy access from all parts of the city including the main campus.


In general we believe that students should have the opportunity to explore - briefly - a range of topics before settling on one. Some people have a particular suitability for different techniques. Given the broad spectrum available we are able to accommodate most individuals. Here we list some of the available projects.

1. Peptidergic control of neurons in the brainstem that control blood pressure.
2. Amino acids that control sympathetic outflow.
3. G Proteins in the control of blood pressure
4. Gene expression in experimental hypertension.
5. Gene expression in response to manipulations that affect blood pressure.
6. Tract-tracing studies of the pathways that control blood pressure.
7. Identification of neurotransmitters and receptors in neurons that control blood pressure.
8. Identification of genes expressed in neurons that control blood pressure.
9. Studies of the pathways that control breathing.
10. Neurotransmitter systems that control sympathetic neurons in the spinal cord.
11. Second messenger pathways in cells that control blood pressure.