BSc (Sydney) Biochemistry (Hons), PhD (Imperial College, London) Neurochemistry
Position: 
Director, Queensland Brain Bank. Reader in Biochemistry
Room: 
451
Phone: 
+61 7 336 53364
Biography: 

1998-present: School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences
1989–1997: Head of Neuroscience Unit; NHMRC Senior Research Fellow, then Principal Research Fellow, Royal Brisbane Hospital Research Foundation.
1983–1989: NHMRC Senior Research Officer, Department of Pharmacology, University of Sydney
1979–1983 Senior Research Officer, MRC Neuroendocrinology Unit, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
1979: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Physiology, St George’s Hospital Medical School, London.
1973-1979: Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biochemistry, Imperial College, University of London
1967-1972: Graduate student, Dept Biochemistry, Imperial College, University of London

Brief Research Description: 
Molecular mechanisms of neurological disease
Research Focus and Collaborations: 

My work is based on the use of autopsy tissue for studies of amino acid neurotransmission, particularly in relation to brain damage and neurodegenerative disease. Studies from my group have repeatedly confirmed that protocols we have developed and optimized give us good-quality mRNA and proteins for analysis. Relevant information from many laboratories, including ours, is summarised in Hynd et al (2003).

Alcohol Misuse and Brain Damage We have studied genotypes in alcoholics and explored their interactions with alcoholics of different sexes with and without liver cirrhosis (Dodd et al 2006; Ridge et al 2009). We developed tools to precisely quantify transcripts using Real Time PCR analysis of autopsied tissue. We bring these studies together to partition our subjects by gender, comorbid disease, and genotype, to explore the effect of this partitioning on the quantitative regional distribution of receptors and their subunits (Dodd et al 2006).

Alzheimer disease and related neurodegenerative conditions Our focus is on excitotoxic mechanisms that underlie the regional devastation of brain cells, induced by altered expression of excitatory receptors and transporters, and the molecular mechanisms consequent to these changes (Gebhardt et al 2010; Scott et al 2010).

Teaching: 
  • MEDI1011: Biochemistry
  • VETS1003: Digestion, Nutrition & Metabolism
  • DENT2052: Advanced Biomedical Sciences for Dentistry
  • NEUR3001: Molecular & Cellular Neuroscience
  • NEUR3002: The Integrated Brain
  • SCIE3260/SCIE3261: Introduction to Research in Chemistry, Biochemistry & Microbiology
  • Honours, Masters and PhD students.
Significant Professional Activities and Awards: 

I coordinate the Queensland Brain Bank, which is part of the Australian Brain Bank Network. We collect tissue at autopsy from cases dying with a range of neurological and psychiatric diseases, as well as normal controls. Tissue is made available to accredited researchers, who can apply via the web site. We hold frequent outreach sessions with community groups to talk about brain research. I help run laboratory workshops in the Asia-Pacific region each year.

Brief details of competitive funding since 2004:

1 NIAA (USA) (USD$849K)
1 Alzheimer’s Association (USA) (USD$238K)
1 Judith Jane Mason and Harold Stannet Williams Memorial Foundation ($525K)
1 NHMRC Enabling grant ($70K UQ component)
1 AHRGS Project grant ($25K)
2 NHMRC Project Grants ($522K)

Selected Publications: