Prof. Robert Callister
|Work Phone||(02) 4921 7808|
|Fax||(02) 4921 7812|
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
The University of Newcastle, Australia
|Office||MS415 (office) MS31, Medical Sciences|
Professor Callister holds undergraduate degrees in Pharmacy and Science (Hons 1). After obtaining a PhD in Zoology and Biomedical Sciences (neurobiology) in the USA at Ohio University (1990), Callister completed two post-doctoral traineeships at The University of Arizona (1990-1992 with DG Stuart) and at the University of Newcastle (1993-1997 with BW Walmsley and P Sah). He then took an academic position at the University of Newcastle (1997-present). In 2007 he was promoted to Professor of Anatomy where he holds a traditional academic appointment, maintains a state of the art electrophysiology laboratory and teaches extensively into Medicine, Physiotherapy, Medical Radiation Science and Biomedical Sciences programs offered in the Faculty of Health. He also carries administrative responsibilities including, Head of Anatomy, Research Higher Degree coordinator.
Professor Callister's current research can be broadly classified as neurophysiology with emphasis on nerve cell excitability and synaptic mechanisms in spinal cord and brainstem neurons. Focus is on sensory systems, including those involved in processing information related to nociception, touch and balance. Techniques used include patch clamp recording, applied to both in vitro (spinal cord or brainstem slices) and in vivo (deeply anaesthetized) preparations, as well as immunohistochemical and cell-labelling techniques.
- PhD, Ohio University - USA, 1990
- Bachelor of Pharmacy, University of Sydney
- Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of New South Wales
- glycine receptors
- nerve cell excitability
- spinal cord
- synaptic transmission
I am interested in the synaptic mechanisms involved in the processing of sensory signals in both the peripheral and central nervous system under normal and pathological conditions. Focus is on two sensory systems that are important clinically: pain and balance. Techniques used include patch clamp recording, in both in vitro (slices) and in vivo (deeply anaesthetized) preparations, and various immunohistochemical and cell labeling techniques. The mouse is used because this species allows us to make use of recent advances in molecular genetics. For example, various naturally occurring and transgenic mouse lines are used to better understand the role of ligand-gated ion channels (particularly, glycine receptors) in the processing of sensory signals under normal and pathological conditions.
Synaptic transmission in sensory pathways, specifically pathways associated with pain and balance disorders.
Our group is interested in the way nerve cells communicate in the brain and spinal cord. We focus on nerve cell communication (synaptic transmission) in two sensory systems that are important clinically: those involved in pain syndromes and balance disorders. Techniques used include patch clamp recording, in both in vitro (spinal cord or brainstem slices) and in vivo (deeply anaesthetized) preparations, and various immunohistochemical and cell labelling techniques. We use the mouse as our animal model because this species allows us to make use of recent advances in molecular genetics to explore synaptic mechanisms. For example, various naturally occurring and transgenic mouse lines are used to better understand the role of ligand-gated ion channels (particularly, glycine and GABAA receptors) in the processing of sensory signals under normal and pathological conditions.
Recently, our efforts have focused on excitability and synaptic mechanisms in ADULT mouse spinal cord slices and in anaesthetized mouse preparations. To our knowledge, our group is the only laboratory team capable of undertaking in vivo patch clamp recording in the spinal cord of a deeply anaesthetized mouse (see publications). This powerful approach allows the consequences of molecular and genetic discoveries/manipulations to be examined in BOTH spinal cord slices and in the intact animal.
Fields of Research
|111799||Public Health And Health Services Not Elsewhere Classified||15|
Centres and Groups
- Hunter Medical Research Institute
- PRC - Priority Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health (CTNMH)
- Society for neuroscience, Australian Neuroscience Society
Research Higher Degree Supervisor of the Year, 2006
Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle (Australia)
Award for providing research supervison to RHD students
Head of Anatomy discipline, 1997-2002, 2008-present
Co-ordinator of Faculty of Health Body Donor Program, 1998-2002, 2008-present
Member of Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences Program Planning Committee, 1997-1998
Member of School of Biomedical Sciences Executive Committee, 1997-2002, 2009-2010
Member of Faculty Orientation Working Party, 1998
Member of Speech Pathology Program Curriculum Committee, 1999
Member of Link-Building Planning and Design Committee, 1998-2000
School Representative on Medicine and Health Sciences Faculty Board, 2000-2001
School Representative on Physiotherapy Program Design and Accreditation Committee, 2001
Faculty Representative on University OSPRO Committee, 2002-2007
Faculty Representative on Animal Care and Ethics Committee, (2005-2009)
I have been involved in extensive face-to-face teaching for over 20 years at Ohio University, the University of Arizona and particularly at the University of Newcastle. I have delivered lectures at all levels of University instruction. I have taught extensively into all 14 Programs provided by the Faculty of Health at the University of Newcastle: human gross anatomy, histology, musculoskeletal anatomy, sectional and imaging anatomy, biomechanics, neuroanatomy, human physiology, neurophysiology and clinical neurophysiology.
At Newcastle my teaching load has ranged from 120-220 contact hours each year into all programs offered by the Faculty of Health. It is emphasized that more than 70% of this load is lecture-based and delivered primarily to the later years of Medical, Biomedical Sciences, Speech Therapy, Physiotherapy and Medical Radiation Science Programs. My laboratory-based teaching is concentrated in specialized areas (neuroanatomy and neurophysiology, imaging, topographical anatomy).
- Subject Coordinator for Neural and Visceral Anatomy (HUBS2103) for Physiotherapy year II and Medical Radiation Science year II
- General anatomy, physiology and developmental neurobiology teaching to years I - III of Medicine, years II and III of Biomedical Sciences, year II Physiotherapy, year II Medical Radiation Science