Novel drugs and receptors for targeting neural control of digestive function

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Number of Honour Places Available
Number of Master Places Available
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Ruslan Pustovit
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Prof John Furness

Summary The healthy gut communicates with the brain and lives in harmony with the many bacteria it contains. Disorders of gut health lead to diabetes and metabolic disease, inadequate nutrition, pain, nausea, poor digestion, liver disease, and digestive diseases. The digestive Physiology and Nutrition Laboratory is working to develop new approaches to treating bowel diseases through neuromodulation, an exciting new approach in which nerves are stimulated to treat disordered function, through drug development and by unravelling the basic mechanisms essential for digestive health. We are also working to understand the reasons why gastrointestinal functions become disordered when there are pathologies of the central nervous system, such as in Parkinson’s Disease.

Project Details

We have made a number of discoveries of new compounds that can modify digestive function, and are conducting animal proof of principal experiments that we hope will lead to clinical trials.  You will work with a team of researchers to investigate the effectiveness and mechanisms of action of novel pharmacological tools.
This project will provide you with the opportunity to conduct in vivo experiments and to learn much about whole animal physiology. One of the major problems of digestive function is failure of propulsive activity.  This arises from a variety of neuro‐muscular dysfunctions.  The most common result is constipation that afflicts more than 20% of the population, many older Australians and most of those with spinal cord injury.  We have discovered a new class of drugs that can potentially be used to treat these conditions and this project will further investigate the mechanisms of action and therapeutic potential of novel compounds.  

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

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