I’m taking a break from research work right now and am enjoying the second year of studying medicine at the University of Sydney. There’s a little bit of research within the course, though, and my MD Research Project topic is the role of a blood protein called fibrinogen in postpartum haemorrhage.
My postdoctoral research career was focused on neuroscience, and my favourite research topics were cannabinoids and brain development.
Click here to see a list of my research papers.
View my ORCID profile
I completed my PhD in pharmacology at Monash University, Parkville in 2006. My thesis title was “Neuropharmacological effects of cannabinoids on behavioural and molecular correlates of psychosis”. I had excellent supervision from Dr David Taylor and Dr Dan Malone.
I did three postdoctoral research stints:
2006-2007: Psychopharmacology Lab, School of Psychology, University of Sydney
I used lots of behavioural models of addiction and did some molecular and biochemical work. My major project was the cannabis ‘reintoxication’ phenomenon, showing that lipolysis, or fat breakdown, releases stored THC from fat cells.
2008-2009: Behavioural Neuroscience Lab, Garvan Institute, Sydney and then NeuRA, Sydney
Using behavioural testing I showed that a genetic mutation related to schizophrenia increases the susceptibility to psychoactive effects of THC.
2010-2013: Schizophrenia Research Laboratory, NeuRA, Sydney
I showed that a well-known genetic mouse model for schizophrenia has a complicated gene expression pattern that might mimic a different genetic brain abnormality than previously thought.
I also measured how genes that code for the endogenous cannabinoid system are expressed in the brain during human development.
I am a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society.
Lastly, some ephemera from my very early research experiences:
- I did a third-year undergraduate lab project synthesising clozapine analogues with Dr Ben Capuano. It was the first time I ever worked late into the night in a lab, and I liked it. I also enjoyed the NMR spectroscopy part of the project.
- I did a Drug Utilisation Evaluation during my hospital pharmacy pre-registration year, comparing oral sucralfate to intravenous ranitidine for stress ulceration prophylaxis. Turns out that sucralfate was much less expensive and just as effective but rarely used in the ICU.