Professor Peter Thorn

Chair in Molecular and Cellular Physiology
Physiology: School Medical Sciences


Website Peter Thorn Laboratory

Map

Biographical details

Education/Qualifications:
1983-1986 PhD SERC-CASE Studentship, University of Edinburgh / Pfizer
1982-1983 MSc Neurophysiology, University of Edinburgh
1979-1982 BSc Zoology / Psychology, University of Nottingham


Professional History:
2015- Chair of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, University of Sydney
2013-2015 Professor, School of Biomedical Science, University of Queensland
2010-2015 Affiliate Group Leader, Institute for Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland
2006-2012 Associate Professor, School of Biomedical Science, University of Queensland
2005-2006 Reader, Department of Pharmacology, Cambridge University
2002-2005 Senior Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology
2002-2003 Visiting Professor, University of California, Irvine, USA
1996-2002 Lecturer, Department of Pharmacology, Cambridge University
1996-2000 Tutor, Churchill College, Cambridge.
1994-1995 Senior Research Fellow, Babraham, The Babraham Institute, Cambridge

Research interests

Our lab has three main projects:

1/ Understanding the structure and functions that control insulin secretion within islets

Our data the suggest that insulin secretion is targeted towards the vasculature. Ongoing projects in the lab are designed to prove this targeting. The work involves advanced imaging techniques, molecular biology and electron microscopy. We use islets from mice and humans to identify key proteins and then test for their role in controlling insulin secretion.

2/ Understanding the defects in sulin secretion that occur in disease

Changes in insulin secretion from beta cells are known to cause disease but despite a lot of work the basis of these changes is unclear. We have new data that shows that in a condition called prediabetes insulin secretion is dramatically upregulated. Using islets from diabetic mice and humans we are aiming to understand the principal mechanisms of control.

3/ Refining cell-based therapies to cure diabetes

We are working with Drs James Hudson and Enzo Porello to engineer induced pluripotent stem cells to make them secrete insulin. Our experiments are testing some of the factors we are finding to be important in the control of beta cells in the islet with an aim to enhance the control of insulin secretion. For diabetic patients, cell replacement therapies have the promise, one day, to provide a cure for disease.

Current research students

Project title Research student
Cell polarity in pancreatic islet beta cells and potential mechanisms controlling the targeted insulin secretion. Jun GAN
Synthetic encapsulation and implantation of pancreatic beta cells to treat type 1 diabetes Jason TONG

PhD and master's project opportunities

Selected grants

2017

  • Bio-functionalization of capsules to maintain insulin secretion, enhance angiogensis and inhibit fibrosis.; Thorn P, Porrello D, Weiss A, Kebede M, Hudson J, Bilek M; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF)/Strategic Research Agreement (SRA).
  • Growing better beta cells; Thorn P, Kebede M, Weiss A, Bilek M, Porrello D, Hudson J; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (Australia)/Australian Type 1 Diabetes Clinical Research Network: Innovation Award.
  • Is insulin secretion is regulated by a synaptic-like mechanism?; Thorn P; Rebecca L Cooper Medical Research Foundation/Research Grant.
  • A multidisciplinary, regenerative medicine approach to cure type 1 diabetes; Thorn P, Kebede M, Bilek M, Weiss A; DVC Research/Sydney Research Excellence Initiative 2020 (SREI).
  • Do synaptic-like mechanisms control insulin secretion?; Thorn P, Gaisano H, Gunton J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.
  • Enhancing insulin secretion from stem cells; Thorn P, Hudson D, Porrello D, Kebede M; Diabetes Australia/Research Grant.

2016

  • How is insulin secretion regulated in health and disease?; Thorn P, Gaisano H, Gunton J; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.

Selected publications

Download citations: PDF RTF Endnote

Book Chapters

  • Thorn, P. (2014). Measurement of Dynamic F-Actin Changes During Exocytosis. In A.I. Ivanov (Eds.), Exocytosis and Endocytosis, (pp. 423-431). New York: Humana Press.

Journals

  • Gan, W., Zavortink, M., Ludick, C., Templin, R., Webb, R., Webb, R., Ma, W., Poronnik, P., Parton, R., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P., et al (2017). Cell polarity defines three distinct domains in pancreatic (beta)-cells. Journal of Cell Science, 130(1), 143-151. [More Information]
  • Do, H., Gunton, J., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2016). Changes in beta cell function occur in prediabetes and early disease in the Leprdb mouse model of diabetes. Diabetologia, 59(6), 1222-1230. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P., Zorec, R., Rettig, J., Keating, D. (2016). Exocytosis in non-neuronal cells. Journal of Neurochemistry, 137(6), 849-859. [More Information]
  • Yu, M., Niu, Y., Zhang, J., Zhang, H., Yang, Y., Taran, E., Jambhrunkar, S., Gu, W., Thorn, P., Yu, C. (2016). Size-dependent gene delivery of amine modified silica nanoparticles. Nano Research, 9(2), 291-305. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P., Gaisano, H. (2015). Cell-to-Cell Communication and the Regulation of Pancreatic Function. Pancreas, 44(8), 1174-1175. [More Information]
  • Maisonneuve, B., Roux, D., Thorn, P., Cooper-White, J. (2015). Effects of Synthetic Biomacromolecule Addition on the Flow Behavior of Concentrated Mesenchymal Cell Suspensions. Biomacromolecules, 16(1), 275-283. [More Information]
  • Do, O., Thorn, P. (2015). Insulin secretion from beta cells within intact islets: location matters. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 42(4), 406-414. [More Information]
  • Do, O., Low, J., Thorn, P. (2015). Lepr(db) mouse model of type 2 diabetes: pancreatic islet isolation and live-cell 2-photon imaging of intact islets. Journal of Visualized Experiments: JOVE, 99, 1-8. [More Information]
  • Yu, M., Niu, Y., Yang, Y., Hartono, S., Yang, J., Huang, X., Thorn, P., Yu, C. (2014). An approach to prepare polyethylenimine functionalized silica-based spheres with small size for siRNA delivery. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 6(18), 15626-15631. [More Information]
  • Yu, M., Karmakar, S., Yang, J., Zhang, H., Yang, Y., Thorn, P., Yu, C. (2014). Facile synthesis of ultra-small hybrid silica spheres for enhanced penetration in 3D glioma spheroids. Chemical Communications, 50(13), 1527-1529. [More Information]
  • Low, J., Zavortink, M., Mitchell, J., Gan, W., Do, O., Schwiening, C., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2014). Insulin secretion from beta cells in intact mouse islets is targeted towards the vasculature. Diabetologia, 57(8), 1655-1663. [More Information]
  • Do, O., Low, J., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2014). The secretory deficit in islets from db/db mice is mainly due to a loss of responding beta cells. Diabetologia, 57(7), 1400-1409. [More Information]
  • Maisonneuve, B., Roux, D., Thorn, P., Cooper-White, J. (2013). Effects of cell density and biomacromolecule addition on the flow behavior of concentrated mesenchymal cell suspensions. Biomacromolecules, 14(12), 4388-4397. [More Information]
  • Low, J., Mitchell, J., Do, O., Bax, J., Rawlings, A., Zavortink, M., Morgan, G., Parton, R., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2013). Glucose principally regulates insulin secretion in mouse islets by controlling the numbers of granule fusion events per cell. Diabetologia, 56(12), 2629-2637. [More Information]
  • Yu, M., Jambhrunkar, S., Thorn, P., Chen, J., Gu, W., Yu, C. (2013). Hyaluronic acid modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to CD44-overexpressing cancer cells. Nanoscale, 5(1), 178-183. [More Information]
  • Yu, M., Zhou, L., Zhang, J., Yuan, P., Thorn, P., Gu, W., Yu, C. (2012). A simple approach to prepare monodisperse mesoporous silica nanospheres with adjustable sizes. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 376(1), 67-75. [More Information]
  • Bugarcic, A., Zimbardi, K., Macaranas, J., Thorn, P. (2012). Laboratory Exercise: An Inquiry-based Practical for a Large, Foundation-Level Undergraduate Laboratory that Enhances Student Understanding of Basic Cellular Concepts and Scientific Experimental Design. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 40(3), 174-180. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P. (2012). Measuring calcium signals and exocytosis in tissues. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects, 1820 (8), 1179-1184. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P., Gaisano, H. (2012). Molecular control of compound Exocytosis: A key role for VAMP8. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 5(1), 61-63. [More Information]
  • Jang, Y., Soekmadji, C., Mitchell, J., Thomas, W., Thorn, P. (2012). Real-time measurement of F-actin remodelling during exocytosis using Lifeact-EGFP transgenic animals. PloS One, 7(7), 1-7. [More Information]
  • Mangold, S., Wu, S., Norwood, S., Collins, B., Hamilton, N., Thorn, P., Yap, A. (2011). Hepatocyte growth factor acutely perturbs actin filament anchorage at the epithelial zonula adherens. Current Biology, 21(6), 503-507. [More Information]
  • Behrendorff, N., Dolai, S., Hong, W., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2011). Vesicle-associated membrane protein 8 (VAMP8) is a SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) selectively required for sequential granule-to-granule fusion. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286(34), 29627-29634. [More Information]
  • Jang, Y., Thorn, P. (2011). Visualization of exocytosis in pancreatic acinar cells by fluorescence microscopy. Pancreapedia:Exocrine Pancreas Knowledge Base, , 1-5. [More Information]
  • Low, J., Shukla, A., Behrendorff, N., Thorn, P. (2010). Exocytosis, dependent on Ca2+ release from Ca2+ stores, is regulated by Ca2+ microdomains. Journal of Cell Science, 123(Pt 18), 3201-3208. [More Information]
  • Low, J., Shukla, A., Thorn, P. (2010). Pancreatic acinar cell: new insights into the control of secretion. The International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 42(10), 1586-1589. [More Information]
  • Behrendorff, N., Floetenmeyer, M., Schwiening, C., Thorn, P. (2010). Protons released during pancreatic acinar cell secretion acidify the lumen and contribute to pancreatitis in mice. Gastroenterology, 139(5), 1711-1720. [More Information]
  • Soekmadji, C., Thorn, P. (2010). Secretory control: evidence for agonist regulation of post-fusion vesicle behaviour. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 37(2), 218-221. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P. (2009). New insights into the control of secretion. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 2(4), 315-317. [More Information]
  • Slattery, C., Lee, A., Zhang, Y., Kelly, D., Thorn, P., Nikolic-Paterson, D., Tesch, G., Poronnik, P. (2008). In vivo visualization of albumin degradation in the proximal tubule. Kidney International, 74(11), 1480-1486. [More Information]

2017

  • Gan, W., Zavortink, M., Ludick, C., Templin, R., Webb, R., Webb, R., Ma, W., Poronnik, P., Parton, R., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P., et al (2017). Cell polarity defines three distinct domains in pancreatic (beta)-cells. Journal of Cell Science, 130(1), 143-151. [More Information]

2016

  • Do, H., Gunton, J., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2016). Changes in beta cell function occur in prediabetes and early disease in the Leprdb mouse model of diabetes. Diabetologia, 59(6), 1222-1230. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P., Zorec, R., Rettig, J., Keating, D. (2016). Exocytosis in non-neuronal cells. Journal of Neurochemistry, 137(6), 849-859. [More Information]
  • Yu, M., Niu, Y., Zhang, J., Zhang, H., Yang, Y., Taran, E., Jambhrunkar, S., Gu, W., Thorn, P., Yu, C. (2016). Size-dependent gene delivery of amine modified silica nanoparticles. Nano Research, 9(2), 291-305. [More Information]

2015

  • Thorn, P., Gaisano, H. (2015). Cell-to-Cell Communication and the Regulation of Pancreatic Function. Pancreas, 44(8), 1174-1175. [More Information]
  • Maisonneuve, B., Roux, D., Thorn, P., Cooper-White, J. (2015). Effects of Synthetic Biomacromolecule Addition on the Flow Behavior of Concentrated Mesenchymal Cell Suspensions. Biomacromolecules, 16(1), 275-283. [More Information]
  • Do, O., Thorn, P. (2015). Insulin secretion from beta cells within intact islets: location matters. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 42(4), 406-414. [More Information]
  • Do, O., Low, J., Thorn, P. (2015). Lepr(db) mouse model of type 2 diabetes: pancreatic islet isolation and live-cell 2-photon imaging of intact islets. Journal of Visualized Experiments: JOVE, 99, 1-8. [More Information]

2014

  • Yu, M., Niu, Y., Yang, Y., Hartono, S., Yang, J., Huang, X., Thorn, P., Yu, C. (2014). An approach to prepare polyethylenimine functionalized silica-based spheres with small size for siRNA delivery. ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 6(18), 15626-15631. [More Information]
  • Yu, M., Karmakar, S., Yang, J., Zhang, H., Yang, Y., Thorn, P., Yu, C. (2014). Facile synthesis of ultra-small hybrid silica spheres for enhanced penetration in 3D glioma spheroids. Chemical Communications, 50(13), 1527-1529. [More Information]
  • Low, J., Zavortink, M., Mitchell, J., Gan, W., Do, O., Schwiening, C., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2014). Insulin secretion from beta cells in intact mouse islets is targeted towards the vasculature. Diabetologia, 57(8), 1655-1663. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P. (2014). Measurement of Dynamic F-Actin Changes During Exocytosis. In A.I. Ivanov (Eds.), Exocytosis and Endocytosis, (pp. 423-431). New York: Humana Press.
  • Do, O., Low, J., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2014). The secretory deficit in islets from db/db mice is mainly due to a loss of responding beta cells. Diabetologia, 57(7), 1400-1409. [More Information]

2013

  • Maisonneuve, B., Roux, D., Thorn, P., Cooper-White, J. (2013). Effects of cell density and biomacromolecule addition on the flow behavior of concentrated mesenchymal cell suspensions. Biomacromolecules, 14(12), 4388-4397. [More Information]
  • Low, J., Mitchell, J., Do, O., Bax, J., Rawlings, A., Zavortink, M., Morgan, G., Parton, R., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2013). Glucose principally regulates insulin secretion in mouse islets by controlling the numbers of granule fusion events per cell. Diabetologia, 56(12), 2629-2637. [More Information]
  • Yu, M., Jambhrunkar, S., Thorn, P., Chen, J., Gu, W., Yu, C. (2013). Hyaluronic acid modified mesoporous silica nanoparticles for targeted drug delivery to CD44-overexpressing cancer cells. Nanoscale, 5(1), 178-183. [More Information]

2012

  • Yu, M., Zhou, L., Zhang, J., Yuan, P., Thorn, P., Gu, W., Yu, C. (2012). A simple approach to prepare monodisperse mesoporous silica nanospheres with adjustable sizes. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science, 376(1), 67-75. [More Information]
  • Bugarcic, A., Zimbardi, K., Macaranas, J., Thorn, P. (2012). Laboratory Exercise: An Inquiry-based Practical for a Large, Foundation-Level Undergraduate Laboratory that Enhances Student Understanding of Basic Cellular Concepts and Scientific Experimental Design. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Education, 40(3), 174-180. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P. (2012). Measuring calcium signals and exocytosis in tissues. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects, 1820 (8), 1179-1184. [More Information]
  • Thorn, P., Gaisano, H. (2012). Molecular control of compound Exocytosis: A key role for VAMP8. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 5(1), 61-63. [More Information]
  • Jang, Y., Soekmadji, C., Mitchell, J., Thomas, W., Thorn, P. (2012). Real-time measurement of F-actin remodelling during exocytosis using Lifeact-EGFP transgenic animals. PloS One, 7(7), 1-7. [More Information]

2011

  • Mangold, S., Wu, S., Norwood, S., Collins, B., Hamilton, N., Thorn, P., Yap, A. (2011). Hepatocyte growth factor acutely perturbs actin filament anchorage at the epithelial zonula adherens. Current Biology, 21(6), 503-507. [More Information]
  • Behrendorff, N., Dolai, S., Hong, W., Gaisano, H., Thorn, P. (2011). Vesicle-associated membrane protein 8 (VAMP8) is a SNARE (soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive factor attachment protein receptor) selectively required for sequential granule-to-granule fusion. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286(34), 29627-29634. [More Information]
  • Jang, Y., Thorn, P. (2011). Visualization of exocytosis in pancreatic acinar cells by fluorescence microscopy. Pancreapedia:Exocrine Pancreas Knowledge Base, , 1-5. [More Information]

2010

  • Low, J., Shukla, A., Behrendorff, N., Thorn, P. (2010). Exocytosis, dependent on Ca2+ release from Ca2+ stores, is regulated by Ca2+ microdomains. Journal of Cell Science, 123(Pt 18), 3201-3208. [More Information]
  • Low, J., Shukla, A., Thorn, P. (2010). Pancreatic acinar cell: new insights into the control of secretion. The International Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, 42(10), 1586-1589. [More Information]
  • Behrendorff, N., Floetenmeyer, M., Schwiening, C., Thorn, P. (2010). Protons released during pancreatic acinar cell secretion acidify the lumen and contribute to pancreatitis in mice. Gastroenterology, 139(5), 1711-1720. [More Information]
  • Soekmadji, C., Thorn, P. (2010). Secretory control: evidence for agonist regulation of post-fusion vesicle behaviour. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology, 37(2), 218-221. [More Information]

2009

  • Thorn, P. (2009). New insights into the control of secretion. Communicative and Integrative Biology, 2(4), 315-317. [More Information]

2008

  • Slattery, C., Lee, A., Zhang, Y., Kelly, D., Thorn, P., Nikolic-Paterson, D., Tesch, G., Poronnik, P. (2008). In vivo visualization of albumin degradation in the proximal tubule. Kidney International, 74(11), 1480-1486. [More Information]

To update your profile click here. For support on your academic profile contact .