siva_celldeath2 Nazanin_Image2 Discipline of Physiology

Discipline of Physiology

The Discipline of Physiology is part of the School of Medical Sciences and is the focus of teaching and research in the physiological sciences at The University of Sydney.

Its research staff and students are located primarily at the Camperdown Campus of the University, in the Anderson Stuart Building and in the Medical Foundation Building. Academics in the discipline teach undergraduate programs in the Faculty of Science, and the Graduate Medical Program.

The research interests of the faculty span a broad range of topics in the physiological sciences, with particular research focus on neuroscience, cardiovascular physiology, reproductive physiology, and endocrine function. Techniques used in our laboratories include imaging, electrophysiology, molecular biology, and human and animal behaviour.

Latest news & events

Dario Protti on the award of the HL and PO Bishop Fellowship in Neuroscience 2017–2019.

His award will be officially announced at the forthcoming Bosch Institute ASM on July 20.

Dr Protti's project is: Retinitis pigmentosa: Understanding the role of the cannabinoid system

Summary: Retinitis Pigmentosa is one of the most common causes of blindness. Recently it was shown that cannabinoids, the active compounds of marijuana, are effective in preventing retinal degeneration in an animal model of Retinitis pigmentosa. The mechanisms by which cannabinoids produce this effect, however, are still largely unknown. We recently found that natural occurring cannabinoids in the retina act on the canonical signalling pathway reducing visual transmission but they also have a paradoxical effect enhancing neuronal excitability. We postulated that this paradoxical effect is mediated by a membrane channel, called TRPV1, sensitive to cannabinoids and other stimuli. In this project we will investigate how cannabinoids and TRPV1 channels modify retinal ganglion cell excitability using optogenetic stimulation. This state-of-the-art technique allows direct neuronal stimulation with highly precise spatial and temporal light patterns, thus enabling stimulation of different neuronal compartments whilst circumventing the technical problems related to electrical stimulation imposed by the intricate morphology of neurones. These results will contribute to our understanding of how cannabinoid-like drugs developed for Retinitis pigmentosa affect the visual system.


Ninety five not out - Professor Emeritus William (Liam) Burke

On Friday April 21 2017, an extraordinary group - all colleagues, family or friends of Liam Burke - gathered in the Courtyard of the Anderson Stuart Building to celebrate his 95th birthday.

They came from Queensland (David Vaney), from Canberra (Lauren Marotte, Bill Levick, Eva Elekessy, Bob Tupper), from Melbourne (Sandra Rees, Vidayasagar), from all over the University campus, from retirement.

We all wished to celebrate with Liam, and to acknowledge his scholarship, his commitment to science and his humanity.

It was a special occasion in the history of the Department of Physiology.

Liam 95
Liam Burke's 95th Gallery

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