Dr Paul Austin

Senior Lecturer
Discipline of Anatomy &
Histology
School of Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine &
Health

Telephone +61 2 9351 5061

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Research interests

Dr. Austin is a senior lecturer in the Discipline of Anatomy and Histology. His main research interest is in understanding and treating chronic neuropathic pain. Dr. Austin's research examines both peripheral and central neuro-immune processes which contribute to the complex symptoms of this debilitating condition. The latest pre-clinical work from Dr Austin's laboratory has uncovered a distinct neuro-immune signature that is associated with the affective disabilities co-morbid with neuropathic pain. Whilst clinical work on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome has provided evidence of an ongoing T lymphocyte mediated infammatory response.

Teaching and supervision

Dr. Austin teaches neuroanatomy and neuroscience to medical, medical science and science students in the form of both lecturers and wet labs. His areas of teaching expertise are in basal ganglia anatomy and dysfunction, as well as sensory pathways, in particular those of the nociceptive system. Dr. Austin also runs a special seminar series on the neuro-immune interactions that contribute to neuropathic pain.

Current research students

Project title Research student
Investigating the role of immune mediators in clinical and pre-clinical chronic pain states Jayden O'BRIEN

Current projects

It is increasingly clear that inflammatory mediators such as pro-inflammatory cytokines from activated glia and immune cells can act on both peripheral and central neurons to alter their functioning. Moreover they have been linked with neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. My laboratory is focused on investigating the interaction of inflammatory mediators and behaviour in chronic pain and neurodegeneration. Using peripheral inflammatory insults such as nerve injury or lipopolysaccharide in experimental rodents, we investigate fine-grained changes in behaviours, such as foraging, investigation, decision-making and risk-assessment in order to identify deficits in cognition or motivation. We are also investigating changes in immune activation in human chronic pain conditions where depression and anxiety is often co-morbid. The laboratory uses a variety of neuroanatomical, immunohistochemical and cytometric approaches to probe the underlying immune mechanisms of these behavioural changes.

Selected publications

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Book Chapters

  • Austin, P., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2013). Animal Models of Neuropathic Pain Due to Nerve Injury. In Paul M Pilowsky, Melissa M J Farnham, Angelina Y Fong (Eds.), Stimulation and Inhibition of Neurons, (pp. 239-260). New York: Springer Science+Business Media. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2013). Pathophysiology of neuropathic pain: inflammatory mediators. In Cory Toth, Dwight E. Moulin (Eds.), Neuropathic Pain: Causes, Management, and Understanding, (pp. 77-89). United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. [More Information]

Journals

  • Russo, M., Fiore, N., Van Vreden, C., Bailey, D., Santarelli, D., McGuire, H., Fazekas de St Groth, B., Austin, P. (2019). Expansion and activation of distinct central memory T lymphocyte subsets in complex regional pain syndrome. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 16(1), 1-17. [More Information]
  • Fiore, N., Austin, P. (2019). Peripheral Nerve Injury Triggers Neuroinflammation in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Ventral Hippocampus in a Subgroup of Rats with Coincident Affective Behavioural Changes [in press]. Neuroscience. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Fiore, N. (2019). Supraspinal neuroimmune crosstalk in chronic pain states. Current Opinion in Physiology, 11, 7-15. [More Information]
  • Fiore, N., Austin, P. (2018). Glial-cytokine-neuronal Adaptations in the Ventral Hippocampus of Rats with Affective Behavioral Changes Following Peripheral Nerve Injury. Neuroscience, 390, 119-140. [More Information]
  • Mor, D., Kendig, M., Kang, J., Gemikonakli, G., Austin, P., Kalman, E., Corbit, L. (2017). Peripheral nerve injury impairs the ability to maintain behavioural flexibility following acute stress in the rat. Behavioural Brain Research, 328, 123-129. [More Information]
  • Fiore, N., Austin, P. (2016). Are the emergence of affective disturbances in neuropathic pain states contingent on supraspinal neuroinflammation? Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 56, 397-411. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Berglund, A., Siu, S., Fiore, N., Gerke, M., Ollerenshaw, S., Leigh, S., Kunjan, P., Kang, J., Keay, K. (2015). Evidence for a distinct neuro-immune signature in rats that develop behavioural disability after nerve injury. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 12(1), 1-16. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Bembrick, A., Denyer, G., Keay, K. (2015). Injury-Dependent and Disability-Specific Lumbar Spinal Gene Regulation following Sciatic Nerve Injury in the Rat. PloS One, 10(4), 1-34. [More Information]
  • Mor, D., Kang, J., Wyllie, P., Thirunavukarasu, V., Houlton, H., Austin, P., Keay, K. (2015). Recruitment of dorsal midbrain catecholaminergic pathways in the recovery from nerve injury evoked disabilities. Molecular Pain, 11(1), 1-9. [More Information]
  • Broadstock, M., Austin, P., Betts, M., Duty, S. (2012). Antiparkinsonian potential of targeting group III metabotropic glutamate receptor subtypes in the rodent substantia nigra pars reticulata. British Journal of Pharmacology, 165(4 B), 1034-1045. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Wu, A., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2012). Chronic Constriction of the Sciatic Nerve and Pain Hypersensitivity Testing in Rats. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 61, 1-6. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Kim, C., Perera, C., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2012). Regulatory T cells attenuate neuropathic pain following peripheral nerve injury and experimental autoimmune neuritis. Pain, 153(9), 1916-1931. [More Information]
  • Mor, D., Bembrick, A., Austin, P., Keay, K. (2011). Evidence for cellular injury in the midbrain of rats following chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 41(3), 158-169. [More Information]
  • Mor, D., Bembrick, A., Austin, P., Wyllie, P., Creber, N., Denyer, G., Keay, K. (2010). Anatomically specific patterns of glial activation in the periaqueductal gray of the sub-population of rats showing pain and disability following chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve. Neuroscience, 166(4), 1167-1184. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Beyer, K., Bembrick, A., Keay, K. (2010). Peripheral Nerve Injury Differentially Regulates Dopaminergic Pathways In The Nucleus Accumbens Of Rats With Either 'Pain Alone' Or 'Pain And Disability'. Neuroscience, 171(1), 329-343. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Betts, M., Broadstock, M., O'Neill, M., Mitchell, S., Duty, S. (2010). Symptomatic and neuroprotective effects following activation of nigral group III metabotropic glutamate receptors in rodent models of Parkinson's disease. British Journal of Pharmacology, 160(7), 1741-1753. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2010). The neuro-immune balance in neuropathic pain: involvement of inflammatory immune cells, immune-like glial cells and cytokines. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 229(1-2), 26-50. [More Information]

2019

  • Russo, M., Fiore, N., Van Vreden, C., Bailey, D., Santarelli, D., McGuire, H., Fazekas de St Groth, B., Austin, P. (2019). Expansion and activation of distinct central memory T lymphocyte subsets in complex regional pain syndrome. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 16(1), 1-17. [More Information]
  • Fiore, N., Austin, P. (2019). Peripheral Nerve Injury Triggers Neuroinflammation in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex and Ventral Hippocampus in a Subgroup of Rats with Coincident Affective Behavioural Changes [in press]. Neuroscience. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Fiore, N. (2019). Supraspinal neuroimmune crosstalk in chronic pain states. Current Opinion in Physiology, 11, 7-15. [More Information]

2018

  • Fiore, N., Austin, P. (2018). Glial-cytokine-neuronal Adaptations in the Ventral Hippocampus of Rats with Affective Behavioral Changes Following Peripheral Nerve Injury. Neuroscience, 390, 119-140. [More Information]

2017

  • Mor, D., Kendig, M., Kang, J., Gemikonakli, G., Austin, P., Kalman, E., Corbit, L. (2017). Peripheral nerve injury impairs the ability to maintain behavioural flexibility following acute stress in the rat. Behavioural Brain Research, 328, 123-129. [More Information]

2016

  • Fiore, N., Austin, P. (2016). Are the emergence of affective disturbances in neuropathic pain states contingent on supraspinal neuroinflammation? Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 56, 397-411. [More Information]

2015

  • Austin, P., Berglund, A., Siu, S., Fiore, N., Gerke, M., Ollerenshaw, S., Leigh, S., Kunjan, P., Kang, J., Keay, K. (2015). Evidence for a distinct neuro-immune signature in rats that develop behavioural disability after nerve injury. Journal of Neuroinflammation, 12(1), 1-16. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Bembrick, A., Denyer, G., Keay, K. (2015). Injury-Dependent and Disability-Specific Lumbar Spinal Gene Regulation following Sciatic Nerve Injury in the Rat. PloS One, 10(4), 1-34. [More Information]
  • Mor, D., Kang, J., Wyllie, P., Thirunavukarasu, V., Houlton, H., Austin, P., Keay, K. (2015). Recruitment of dorsal midbrain catecholaminergic pathways in the recovery from nerve injury evoked disabilities. Molecular Pain, 11(1), 1-9. [More Information]

2013

  • Austin, P., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2013). Animal Models of Neuropathic Pain Due to Nerve Injury. In Paul M Pilowsky, Melissa M J Farnham, Angelina Y Fong (Eds.), Stimulation and Inhibition of Neurons, (pp. 239-260). New York: Springer Science+Business Media. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2013). Pathophysiology of neuropathic pain: inflammatory mediators. In Cory Toth, Dwight E. Moulin (Eds.), Neuropathic Pain: Causes, Management, and Understanding, (pp. 77-89). United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. [More Information]

2012

  • Broadstock, M., Austin, P., Betts, M., Duty, S. (2012). Antiparkinsonian potential of targeting group III metabotropic glutamate receptor subtypes in the rodent substantia nigra pars reticulata. British Journal of Pharmacology, 165(4 B), 1034-1045. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Wu, A., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2012). Chronic Constriction of the Sciatic Nerve and Pain Hypersensitivity Testing in Rats. Journal of Visualized Experiments, 61, 1-6. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Kim, C., Perera, C., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2012). Regulatory T cells attenuate neuropathic pain following peripheral nerve injury and experimental autoimmune neuritis. Pain, 153(9), 1916-1931. [More Information]

2011

  • Mor, D., Bembrick, A., Austin, P., Keay, K. (2011). Evidence for cellular injury in the midbrain of rats following chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy, 41(3), 158-169. [More Information]

2010

  • Mor, D., Bembrick, A., Austin, P., Wyllie, P., Creber, N., Denyer, G., Keay, K. (2010). Anatomically specific patterns of glial activation in the periaqueductal gray of the sub-population of rats showing pain and disability following chronic constriction injury of the sciatic nerve. Neuroscience, 166(4), 1167-1184. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Beyer, K., Bembrick, A., Keay, K. (2010). Peripheral Nerve Injury Differentially Regulates Dopaminergic Pathways In The Nucleus Accumbens Of Rats With Either 'Pain Alone' Or 'Pain And Disability'. Neuroscience, 171(1), 329-343. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Betts, M., Broadstock, M., O'Neill, M., Mitchell, S., Duty, S. (2010). Symptomatic and neuroprotective effects following activation of nigral group III metabotropic glutamate receptors in rodent models of Parkinson's disease. British Journal of Pharmacology, 160(7), 1741-1753. [More Information]
  • Austin, P., Moalem-Taylor, G. (2010). The neuro-immune balance in neuropathic pain: involvement of inflammatory immune cells, immune-like glial cells and cytokines. Journal of Neuroimmunology, 229(1-2), 26-50. [More Information]

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