Associate Professor Jonathon Arnold
D06 - Blackburn Building
On this page
Jonathon Arnold is an Associate Professor at the University of Sydney and has over 15 years experience in behavioural neuroscience and pharmacology. He has published 42 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and has received over 1000 career citations, h-index = 19). He completed his PhD on the neural and behavioural effects of cannabinoids (cannabis-like drugs) under Professor Iain McGregor at the University of Sydney in 2001. During his PhD Dr Arnold became fascinated by how genetic disposition influences the neurobehavioural actions of cannabinoids - understanding which genes affect cannabinoid action might help explain why certain individuals are more prone to mental disorders such as addiction or schizophrenia.
A/Prof Arnold's research has attracted national and international funding. In 2005 he took sabbatical leave at the Cajal Institute in Madrid, one of the world's premier neuroscience institutes. He has an ongoing collaboration with Prof Jacques Micheau, University of Bordeaux, France that has yielded 4 publications. He has published invited reviews in special cannabinoid editions of Current Pharmaceutical Design, Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior and the British Journal of Pharmacology. In 2009 he reported from NHMRC-funded research that diet-induced lipolysis causes fat-stored THC to flood back into the blood (the phenomenon we termed cannabinoid re-intoxication, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology). This finding attracted national and international media attention including coverage in the New Scientist, Cosmos, and the Sun-Herald. His work on Nrg1-cannabinoid interactions has also generated much interest and he has given 6 invited presentations at both national and international conferences on this topic in the last 5 years.
Dr Arnold has reviewed grants for the National Health and Medical Research Council,Australian Research Council, the Marsden Fund (New Zealand) and the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research (Canada). He also reviews original research manuscripts for various international journals including Schizophrenia Bulletin,Biological Psychiatry, Neuropsychopharmacology, Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics, PLoS ONE and The British Journal of Pharmacology. He serves on the Editorial Board of Current Neuropharmacology andThe World Journal of Pharmacology. He is the primary supervisor of 6 PhD students and has supervised 3 PhD students, 1 Masters and 12 Honours students to completion (10 awarded a 1st class grading, 5 retained for PhD studies). In 2011 he received the Excellence in Research Higher Degree Supervision Award from the Sydney Medical School.[Hide detail]
A/Prof Arnold has isolated genes that modulate the neurobehavioural effects of cannabinoids. His research has focussed on ABC transporter genes that encode drug efflux pumps found at the blood brain barrier. These might regulate cannabinoid brain uptake by transporting cannabinoid drugs from brain tissue back into the peripheral blood supply. His group was the first to show cannabinoids modulate activity and expression ofABCB1in 2006 (published inBiochemical Pharmacology) andABCG2in 2007 (published in theBritish Journal of Pharmacology). In recognition of this research A/Prof Arnold received a Young Investigator Award from the US-basedBrain and Behavior Research Foundation(formerly known as NARSAD). The other major arm of his research demonstrated that the schizophrenia susceptibility gene neuregulin 1 (Nrg1) modulates the neuropharmacological actions of cannabinoids. The seminal manuscripts on this topic published in 2007 inPsychopharmacologyandNeurosciencehave received collectively over 100 citations. His research has influenced human genomic research in psychiatry, for example, a recently accepted publication inBiological Psychiatryfrom researchers at Yale University reported thatNRG1increased the risk of developing cannabis dependence. His recent publication in theInternational Journal of Neuropsychopharmacologyis the first to showNrg1is involved in the development of cannabinoid tolerance. In 2009 Dr Arnold established a Neurobehavioural Laboratory at the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) in collaboration with Professor Max Bennett.