Professor Stuart Brierley

Professor and Matthew Flinders Fellow in Gastrointestinal Neuroscience

College of Medicine and Public Health

place SA Health & Medical Research Institute
GPO Box 2100, Adelaide 5001, South Australia

Prof Brierley is an NHMRC Investigator Leadership Fellow and Matthew Flinders Professor in Gastrointestinal Neuroscience. He is Director of the Visceral Pain Research Group at Flinders University and Director of the Hopwood Centre for Neurobiology at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

Prof Brierley is an international leader on 'Gut-Brain' mechanisms, in particular the different afferent classes innervating the gut (and bladder), the channels and receptors underlying their function and how this changes in acute and chronic pain. Prof Brierley has a proven track record in coordinating multi-faceted research programs for high-impact publications in journal such as Nature, Cell, Nature Communications, Gastroenterology, Gut, PNAS, JCI Insight, Pain, British Journal of Pharmacology and The Journal of Neuroscience. He also has invited reviews published in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Annual Reviews of Physiology, Gut, Trends in Biomedical Sciences, Journal of Physiology and The International Journal of Biochemistry & Cell Biology.

His recent collaborations with Industry partners identified the mechanism of pain relief of a new drug, linaclotide, in treating patient with Irritable Bowel Syndrome with Constipation (IBS-C). Linaclotide, a guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist is effective in relieving abdominal pain associated with IBS-C and is already available and registered for use by IBS-C patients in the USA and Europe.

For a current list of publications see:


BSc(Hons, 1st Class), PhD

Honours, awards and grants

NHMRC Research Excellence Award: 2017.

Top Ranked NHMRC R.D Wright Biomedical Fellow (CDF II) in the 2016 round.

Key responsibilities
  • Director, Hopwood Centre for Neurobiology, SAHMRI, Adelaide.
  • President of the Australasian Neurogastroenterology and Motility Association (ANGMA).
  • Co-chair of the Federation of Neurogastroenterology and Motility (FNM) 2020 meeting in Adelaide.
  • NHMRC R.D Wright Biomedical Fellow (CDF II; 2017-2021).
  • NHMRC R.D Wright Biomedical Fellow (CDF I; 2013-2016).
  • NHMRC Australian Biomedical Fellow (2008-2012).
  • South Australian Tall Poppy recipient (2011).
Supervisory interests
Bladder control
Chronic pain
Gastrointestinal motility and pain
Higher degree by research supervision
Principal supervisor: Chronic Pain (3)
Further information


1) 2017-2020: NHMRC R.D Wright Fellowship (Level 2). (AUD $470,144). A/Prof Stuart M. Brierley. Identifying the underlying causes of chronic visceral pain and discovering novel therapeutic treatments”.

2) 2019-2022: NHMRC Project Grant (AUD $988,243). Chief Investigators: N.J. Spencer, A/Prof Stuart M Brierley, V. Zagorodnyuk & A Harrington. “Silencing visceral pain pathways using novel optogenetic techniques in vivo”

3) 2018-2020: NHMRC Project Grant #APP1139366. (AUD $696,808.50). Chief Investigators: A/Prof Stuart M Brierley, Prof Richard Lewis, A/Prof Irina Vetter, A/Prof Grigroi Rychkov. “Silencing visceral nociceptors by targeting NaV1.1: A novel therapeutic approach for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome”

4) 2018-2020: NHMRC Project Grant #APP1140297. (AUD $720,585.00). Chief Investigators: A/Prof Stuart M Brierley, Prof David Grundy, Prof Nick Spencer. “Is overactive bladder a 'Bladder itch'? Identification of itch specific pathways within the bladder?”

5) 2015-2019: NHMRC Project Grant #APP1083480 (AUD $873,233.20). Chief Investigators: A/Prof Stuart M Brierley, Dr Daniel Poole, Prof Martin Steinhoff. Is abdominal discomfort a “colonic itch”? Identification of itch specific pathways in the gut in health and disease”

6) 2018-2020: ARC Discovery Project: DP180101395. (AUD $331,000) Chief Investigators: Dr Andrea Harrington, A/Prof Stuart M. Brierley, A/Prof Stuart Mazzone, A/Prof Grigori Rychkov. “Central pathways regulating visceral pain”.