Dr Brett Graham
|Work Phone||(02) 4921 5397|
|Fax||(02) 4921 7906|
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
The University of Newcastle, Australia
|Office||MS411, Medical Sciences|
I am an accomplished patch-clamp electrophysiologist and use both in vitro and in vivo preparations in my experiments. My in vivo work allows the study of nerve cell properties and responses to “natural” stimuli, only possible using an intact preparation (an approach I pioneered during my PhD). My in vitro work permits detailed study of synaptic and intrinsic membrane properties in nerve cells using spinal cord or brain slice preparations. My in vitro studies also allows single channel analysis of individual receptor properties. All this work has been undertaken in mice so I can take advantage of the availability of mutant and transgenic animals for analyzing the role of specific receptor types (e.g. I have studied glycine receptor function in the mutant mice Spastic, Spasmodic, and Oscillator) or the properties of specific nerve cell types (e.g. my more recent work characterizing green fluorescent protein-expressing nerve cells in the spinal cords of transgenic mice). Because of this broad expertise I was invited to join the teaching faculty of the Australian Course in Advance Neuroscience (ACAN) in 2011. ACAN is recognized as “the pre-eminent course in the Asia-Pacific region for young scientists who would like to become experts in cellular neurophysiology”. Similarly my research expertise and standing in pain research has recently been acknowledged with an invitation for me to organize a topical workshop for the 2012 International Association for the Study of Pain World Congress (held biennially). This prestigious meeting brings together over 6,000 of the world’s leading professionals in the field of pain research and treatment to discuss current progress and new perspectives on pain management.
- Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle, 2006
- Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences, University of Newcastle
- Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences (Hons), University of Newcastle, 2001
- Spinal cord
- Synaptic transmission
My research expertise is based around electrophysiological techniques that range from real-time monitoring of conformational changes in cell membrane associated protiens (single channel recording) through to systems-level analysis of neuronal processing (in vivo recordings). I have pioneered the approach of making patch-clamp recordings in mouse spinal cord under in vivo conditions to analyse pain processing mechanisms in the whole animal. I also routinely make in vitro recordings for mouse spinal cord slices, alowing phamacological analyses of siganl processing in the dorsal horn.
Since establishing my laboratory at Newcastle I have developed research projects built around three research themes.
Theme 1: Targeted study of specific spinal nerve cell types involved in pain processing
Theme 2: Immune and nervous system interactions in painful inflammatory conditions
Theme 3: Drug-induced synaptic plasticity in the lateral hypothalamus
Each theme has attracted funding in its own right and I have established several local (Newcastle), national (Sydney, Adelaide), and international (Glasgow, Singapore) collaborations with researchers who have expertise in other, complimentary disciplines.
Fields of Research
Centres and Groups
- Hunter Medical Research Institute
- PRC - Priority Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health (CTNMH)
Body relevant to professional practice.
- Member - Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS)
- Member - International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)
National Health & Medical Research Council (Australia)
|01/01/2008 - 01/12/2011|
My position is research-based.
- Biomedical Science
I proide teaching into a number of coursees where the topics covered can be broadly grouped as relating to anatomy and physiology. I coordinate a course in Exercise Physiology and act as the sole lecturer in that course. Other areas of particular experitse include CNS function, synaptic transmission and pain.
The topic areas I currently teach into include General Physiology, Pathophysiology, Exercise Physiology, Neural and Visceral Anatomy, and Pain mechanisms. Within these areas I try to expose students to the latest information coming for cutting edge research and place this information in context for the various student groups.