Professor MacDonald James Christie

Professor of Pharmacology
Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences

D06 - Blackburn Building
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006 Australia

T: +61 2 9351 2946

Biographical details

Professor Christie completed a PhD at The University of Sydney in 1983. He was an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow in 1985 (NH&MRC), a Fogarty International Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1985-1987 and then Senior Research Associate at the Vollum Institute in Oregon, USA from 1987-1990. He was appointed as a tenured academic in the Department of Pharmacology, The University of Sydney in June 1990, where he was Head of Department from 1998-2000, full professor (personal chair) from 1999 and Medical Foundation Senior Principal Research Fellow from 1998-2002. He has been a NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow since 2003. He has served as Director of Basic Research at the Pain Management Research Institute (2003-2008) and Brain & Mind Research Institute (2009-2011) University of Sydney was appointed as Professor of Pharmacology in June 2011 and is currently an Associate Dean (Research) in the Sydney Medical School. Christie is a cellular and molecular neuropharmacologist with research interests including cellular and molecular mechanisms of opioid receptor signalling in neurons and synapses in pain pathways, the biological basis of adaptations producing chronic pain and drug dependence, and preclinical development of novel pain therapeutics derived from conotoxins. He has published over 190 research papers in the field of neurological sciences, many in top ranked general (Nature [2], Science [1], PNAS [2]), Nature Neuroscience [1]) and discipline based (eg. Neuron [2], Journal of Neuroscience [4]) journals. His published work has received over 10,000 citations (H-Index = 54). Christie has been supported by continuous grant funding from bodies including NHMRC, ARC and NIH since 1991. He is currently a Chief Investigator on a NH&MRC Program Grant. Christie currently serves on Editorial Boards of several international journals and is a past Executive member of the International Narcotics Research Conference, the peak international opioid research organisation.

Research interests

Molecular, cellular, synaptic and behavioural mechanisms of opioid addiction and persistent pain states

Current national competitive grants*


Venom peptide modulators of pain pathways
Lewis R, Alewood P, Adams D, Christie M
NHMRC Program Grant/Shared Research Support ($1,510,500 over 5 years)

* Grants administered through the University of Sydney