Professor Simon Brookes

Professor of Human Physiology

College of Medicine and Public Health

place Flinders Medical Centre (6E:128)
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia
Simon Brookes was awarded his PhD in 1984 for studies on the nervous system of insects. From this he developed a continuing interest in simple neural circuits.  He did post-doctoral research in the Royal London Hospital, then moved to Flinders University in 1988.  He has been funded by senior research fellowships from the Gastroenterological Society and NHMRC of Australia.  In 2005, he was appointed Professor and Head of Human Physiology at Flinders University.  Simon's research focusses on how nerve cells work together to give coordinated control of the organs of the body and how they go wrong in disease.  His interests range from the molecular level through to the whole organism.  He has worked extensively on 'simple' autonomic and sensory pathways to the gut and has published over 110 papers, chapters and reviews.  He is convenor of the Centre for Neuroscience
Qualifications
BSc (Hons, 1st Class in Psychology and Zoology) University of Bristol (1977-1980)
PhD University of Bristol, (1980-1984)
Honours, awards and grants
1980    Bachelor of Science, Joint Honours in psychology and zoology (first class), awarded by the University of Bristol.
1980    Science Research Council postgraduate scholarship, Dept of Zoology, University of Bristol, UK
1984    PhD, University of Bristol "Studies of two unpaired median neurones in the abdominal ganglia of silkmoth caterpillars"
1986    Wellcome travel award to USA
1992    First Senior Research Fellowship in Digestive Sciences, Gastroenterological Society of Australia 1992-1997.
1995    Sandoz "Neurogastroenterology Award" for best presentation at meeting at Little Brain-Big Brain meeting, Munich
2001    Janssen Award in Basic or Clinical Research in Digestive Sciences, awarded at Digestive Disease Week, Atlanta, GA
2001    Senior Research Fellowship of the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
2002    Promotion to Associate Professor (Flinders University, academic status)
2005    Appointed as Professor and Head of Dept of Human Physiology, Flinders University
2012    Appointed, Associate Dean Flinders Medical Science and Technology
Key responsibilities
Associate Dean of Flinders Medical Science and Technology (2012-)
Head of Department (2005-)
Member of Faculty Research Committee
Member of BMedSc Executive Committee
Member BMedSc Exam Board
Chair, BMedSc Course Committee
Editorial boards: Frontiers in Autonomic Neuroscience
Grant Referee; NH&MRC, ARC, FMC Foundation and Faculty Grants Committee
Chair NHMRC Grant Review Panel (2009)
Member NHMRC Grant Review Panel (2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009)
Member NHMRC Senior Fellowships Panel (2011, 2012)
Research expertise
Medical physiology
Neurosciences
Physiology
Research interests
Simon's  research interests focus on how nerve cells give rise to sensation and how they control the organs of the body, especially the gastrointestinal tract, ranging from the molecular level through to the behaviour of the whole organism.  He has worked extensively on autonomic control of the gut, especially the enteric nervous system and the extrinsic sensory innervation of the bowel. Since his PhD studies, his interests have focussed on "simple" parts of the nervous system where it is possible to understand at the cellular level, how nerve cells work within circuits to give rise to coordinated behaviour.  His group has  identified the endings of a major class of neurons that mediate pain from the bowel and is attempting to characterise systematically the types of sensory neurons that mediate sensation from the gastrointestinal tract.  Simon has a growing interest in how diseases of the Central Nervous System, such as Parkinson's Disease, affect the simpler, more accessible nerves in the periphery.
Teaching interests
Physiology,
body systems,
visceral organs,
neuroscience,
sensory physiology,
autonomic nervous system,
gastrointestinal physiology
Topic coordinator
MDSC3000 Skills for Medical Scientists 3
MMED1007 Histology - building blocks of the human body
Topic lecturer
MMED8203 Gastrointestinal Block of Graduate Entry Medical Program
MMED1005 How your body works
MMED2933 Fundamental Neuroscience
MDSC2000 Skills for Medical Scientists 2
MMED2931 Human Physiology
MMED2932 Integrative Human Physiology
MMED3931 Advanced Neuroscience
Supervisory interests
Autonomic nerves, internal organs, blood vessels and skin
Cell biology
Enteric nervous system
Neuroscience
Sensory nerves, pain
Sensory neurobiology of the gastrointestinal tract
Higher degree by research supervision
Current
Principal supervisor: sensory innervation of fascia (1), Sensory innervation of striated muscle (1)
Completion
Principal supervisor: enteric neurons (1), Physiology of gut smooth muscle (1)
Associate supervisor: enteric nervous system (1)
Publications
Expert for media contact
Gastrointestinal Physiology
Neuroscience
Gastrointestinal Motility and Pain
Molecular, Cellular and Organ Physiology of The Gut
Neuroanatomy of The Autonomic Nervous System
Sensory Neurobiology of The Gastrointestinal Tract
Available for contact via
Or contact the media team
+61 8 82012092
0427 398 713
Media expertise
  • Gastrointestinal Physiology
  • Neuroscience
Interests
  • Gastrointestinal Motility and Pain
  • Molecular, Cellular and Organ Physiology of The Gut
  • Neuroanatomy of The Autonomic Nervous System
  • Sensory Neurobiology of The Gastrointestinal Tract

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