Research interests

Our research is conducted through observation and controlled, properly designed experiments, paired with subsequent valid interpretation of experimental observations.

Auditory and vestibular translational neuroscience

Our research interest is in auditory and vestibular neuroscience, focusing on the mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment of inner ear diseases, and clinical and population health approaches to the prevention and alleviation of hearing and vestibular impairment in the community.

Basal ganglia neurophysiology

The main aim of our research is to characterise the mechanisms of neuronal damage in models of Parkinson's disease (PD), and to study the alterations in neuronal activity within the basal ganglia circuit of the brain.

Brain development and repair

Our aim is to characterise the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the impairments in white matter and cortical maturation that occur following preterm birth.

Cardiac Nanobiology

In the Cardiac Nanobiology Lab, we study the macromolecular complexes that regulate cardiac muscle cell Ca2+ release and how nanoscale remodelling of these complexes contribute to the loss of contractility in the failing human heart.

Cardio-Vascular Autonomic Research Cluster

We study human diseases such as hypertension, heart failure and stroke using multidisciplinary approaches, spanning the cellular to the integrative whole-body level and including small and large animal models. Our aim is to generate novel mechanistic insights that can be translated to improve cardiovascular health in diseased patients.

Cardio-renal research

The primary interest of our lab is neural control of cardiovascular function. The emphasis is on control of the cardiovascular system during both normal physiological situations as well as impaired control during disease. We have made exciting findings regarding the role of sympathetic nerve activity to the heart and kidney in hypertension and heart failure. Our current experiments are translational in nature examining new devices and treatment targets in cardiovascular disease.

Cellular and molecular cardiology

In the Cellular and Molecular Cardiology lab, our research investigates the mechanisms of heart failure in the hope of identifying new targets of therapeutic value. We have a particular interest in diabetes-associated heart failure – a condition with no specific treatment strategy.

Circuit mechanisms of disease

Our research focuses on how brain circuits control behaviour and what happens when this goes awry in disease. We perform recordings in live mice (‘in vivo’) using a range of different imaging technologies to track cellular activity in real-time, during behaviour.

Circulatory control

The focus of the Circulatory Control Laboratory is the control of blood pressure with particular regard to the mechanisms responsible for the development of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases. The main approach of the laboratory is an integrated approach of monitoring of a number of cardiovascular variables such as blood pressure, sympathetic nerve activity, heart rate and blood flow for an extended period of time.

Fetal physiology and neuroscience

The group comprises physiologists and clinicians who have wide-ranging biomedical research interests looking at the impact of oxygen deprivation before birth, how it causes injury, and how that injury can be detected, prevented and/or treated.

Human Physiology

My laboratory seeks to provide new pathophysiological insights into cardiovascular conditions, such as hypertension, heart failure and atrial fibrillation, which are a leading cause of morbidity and mortality both globally and in New Zealand.

Molecular neuro-endocrinology

Our two key research interests are POMC derived peptides and melanocortin receptor signalling, and pigmentation gene loci and body weight.

Molecular vision

The goal of our research is to reduce the onset and progression of age-related eye diseases with a particular focus on the lens pathologies, presbyopia and cataract, which are respectively the leading causes of refractive error and blindness in the world today.

Muscle cell function

Our research applies spectrofluorometric techniques to determine ionic fluxes associated with excitation-contraction coupling and contractile function in the heart. Studies are carried out on isolated cardiac muscle from consenting human patients undergoing routine surgery, and from animal models of heart disease.

Perinatal molecular neuroscience

The primary goal of the Perinatal Molecular Neuroscience Research Group is to develop novel therapeutic biomarkers and therapeutic strategies for preterm brain injury and advance our understanding of the complex mechanisms which link preterm brain injury to infection/inflammatory processes.

Synaptic function

Our research focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms that underlie the physiology of neurons in the central and peripheral nervous systems. Using electrophysiology, behaviour, and imaging techniques we investigate how changes in synaptic function could underlie neurodevelopmental and degenerative diseases, as well as normal or abnormal heart rhythms.

Translational cardio-respiratory research

We are exploring how the regulation of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems are coupled by the peripheral and central nervous systems and why these mechanisms fail in disease resulting in autonomic imbalance.