Dr. Dusan Matusica was appointed as a Lecturer in Anatomy & Histology and Research Associate in the Pain & Pulmonary Neurobiology Lab within the Flinders Medical Science & Technology cluster of the School of Medicine in 2014. He completed his undergraduate studies at Flinders University majoring in Neuroscience and Biochemistry, going on to complete his Honours degree at the Flinders University School of Medicine in Neurophysiology, and received his PhD in Neurobiology in 2008. In 2010 he joined the Queensland Brain Institute at the Univerity of Queensland as a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Alzheimer's disease research group. His research at QBI focused on identifying the regulators of nerve cell death, with the primary interest of understanding the celular and molecular mechanisms causing neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD) and Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
His primary research interest lie in understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal injury resulting in pain and/or neurodegeneration. His research focuses on a family of growth factors called neurotrophins (NTs). NTs belong to a family of structurally and functionally related proteins responsible for diverse actions in the developing peripheral and central nervous systems. They are important regulators of neuronal function, affecting neuronal survival and growth. They are able to regulate cell death and survival in development as well as in pathophysiologic states.
The overarching focus of his research are molecular and cellular mechanisms regulating the neuronal trafficking, and signalling pathways involved in the function and development of central and peripheral neurons, as well as the dysregulation of these mechanisms in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative conditions and chronic pain.
Doctor of Philosophy in Neurobiology (Research)
Bachelor of Science Honours degree in Neurophysiology
Bachelor of Health Science degree in Neuroscience and Biochemistry
The Australian Neuroscience Society Annual Meeting Postgraduate Student Prize (2008)
The GlaxoSmithKline Victor MacFarlane Graduate Student Prize in Neurobiology (2006 and 2007)
Research Associate, Pain and Pulmonary Neurobiology Laboratory
Lecturer in Anatomy and Histology, GEMP Year 2
Development of high-throughput cell line models for the study of pain signalling.
Neurobiology of growth factors and their receptors in motor neurone disease (MND).
Functional and structural interactions between neurotrophin receptors Trk, p75NTR and sortilin.
Development of Bio-Nano-Chip microfluidic devices for point of care (POC) testing.
Epigenetic mechanisms regulating pain.
Since 2010, Dr. Matusica has been regularly involved in delivering Community lectures on Ageing and Dementia for the University of Third Age and for the The Probus Association of Queensland. He has lectured on topics including the "Amazing Brain" and "Music and the Brain" in an effort to bring current scientific knowledge to the general public. His annual Alzheimer's Lecture to the University of Third Age delivered the current research progress in the field of Alzheimer's disease. He has also been involved as a demonstrator and guide in the annual Australian Brain Bee Challenge (ABBC), a competition for high school students to learn about the brain and its functions, learn about neuroscience research, find out about careers in neuroscience and to dispel misconceptions about neurological and mental illnesses. He also is a regular participant and speaker for the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation.