Andrea Yool

Professor Andrea Yool

Professor of Physiology

School of Biomedicine

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

Eligible to supervise Masters and PhD - email supervisor to discuss availability.

Andrea is a Professor of Physiology at the University of Adelaide, South Australia, and a member of the Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing.

She obtained her PhD in Physiology and Cell Biology from the University of California Santa Barbara, and subsequently worked as a research fellow in Neuropharmacology at Scripps Clinic & Research Foundation in California. After further postdoctoral research in Molecular & Cellular Physiology at Stanford University, she was appointed as an academic staff member in the Dept of Physiology at the University of Arizona, with joint appointments in the Dept of Pharmacology and the Division of Neuroscience. She moved to Australia as Professor and Head of Physiology at the University of Adelaide in 2007.

She has a strong publication record in ion channel and water channel physiology, with more than 100 publications, book chapters and review articles in total. More than 70 papers feature her as first or senior author, including work in top tier journals (Science, Nature and PNAS). She has catalysed excellence in research scholarship having supervised research projects for more than 40 Bachelor and Honours students, and served as principal or co-supervisor to over 60 HDR students, and 5 postdoctoral fellows and MD/PhD research fellows, over her career.

Her goals as director of Aquaporin Physiology and Drug Discovery Program are to define the molecular basis of the dual water and ion channel function of aquaporins (AQPs), to understand the roles of AQPs in physiological systems, and to build a definitive portfolio of AQP antagonist and agonist compounds as tools for basic research and clinical innovation.



The water channels known as aquaporins (AQPs) are an ancient family found in all the kingdoms of life, from bacteria and plants to invertebrates and vertebrates. They play key roles in water balance and fluid homeostasis, cell volume and motility.  The thirteen classes of human AQPs show tissue-specific patterns of expression relevant to health and disease. Our goals are to define the molecular basis of the dual water and ion channel functions of aquaporins, to understand the roles of AQPs in physiological systems, and to build a definitive portfolio of AQP antagonist and agonist compounds as tools for basic research and clinical innovation. Aquaporins are currently being uncovered as essential components of rapid cell migration in wound healing and cancer metastasis, particularly in aggressive cancers such as glioblastoma and colon cancers.  We have shown molecular knockdown or pharmacological blockade of AQP1 can slow or stop aggressive cancer cell movement.  Our work over the past decade has challenged the original dogma that the archetypal channel AQP1 is rigid and constitutively open.  We  have shown that AQP1 is regulated by intracellular signals and serves as cGMP-gated ion channel as well as an osmotic water channel.  Our focus on AQP pharmacology defined the first library of pharmacological agents in the world, based on arylsulfonamide scaffolds showing  differential activities on the ion and the water pores.  We are also discovering new pharmacological AQP modulators from traditional Chinese and Indian herbal medicines, identifying the active chemical components and defining their molecular targets of action on AQP gating domains.  Our findings could offer exciting opportunities for clinical intervention in cancer metastasis, brain oedema, hydrocephalus, and other fluid transport disorders. Our drug agents are currently being tested in vivo in collaborative projects in Australia, Europe and the USA.

Slide title page A recent plenary talk by Andrea at the first international Aquaporins Solutions conference in Nov 2020, sponsored by ANU, is available at this OneDrive link:

                New Views of AQPs


Project 1. Using electrophysiology, molecular biology, expression systems and imaging to discover new classes of aquaporins that work as dual water and ion channels, and to define their mechanisms of channel gating, pharmacological block, regulation, and permeation properties. (Collaboration with Dr Sunita Ramesh and Dr Sam Henderson).  Available annually for Year 3 BHMS students (Sem 2 start). Honours and HDR places are full for 2021, but should become available in 2022.

Project 2. Characterising custom-designed pharmacological compounds as differential modulators of aquaporin water and ion channels, and analysing their efficacy as inhibitors of cancer metastasis. (Collaboration with Dr Jenny Hardingham). Spaces not currently available for new students.

Project 3.  Discovering new pharmacological modulators of cell motility in traditional Chinese medicinal herbs.  (Collaboration with Prof Dave Adelson). Spaces not currently available for new students.

Project 4.  Assessing plant aquaporins as dual water and ion channels that enabling adaptation to saline environments (collaboration with S Tyerman and C Byrt), and characterising the effects of aquaporin modulators on plant AQP function (collaboration with F Chaumont). Spaces not currently available for new students.

Location-- Available research projects will be conducted in the Yool laboratory, Helen Mayo South, level 2, Frome Rd (North Terrace campus). 

Special requirements--  None; however Physiology courses (PHYSIOL 2510, 2520, 3104), and a background in first year chemistry, biochemistry or the equivalent are highly recommended.

DATE CURRENT GRANTS  Investigators Funding Body
2019-2021 Fundamental roles of Aquaporin-1 channels in cellular migration and morphology (DP190101745) AJ Yool and S Ramesh Australian Research Council (ARC)
2019-2021 Channels for improved crop salt and water stress tolerance (DP190102725) C Byrt, S Tyerman, AJ Yool, F Chaumont and M Tester Australian Research Council (ARC)
2020-2022 Developing an animal-free analysis platform to assess human Aquaporin-1 channels involved in cancer cell migration. S Henderson, AJ Yool, B Martinac

Medical Advances Without Animals


2016- 2018

Properties enabling rapid cell migration by aquaporin-1 channel expression  (DP160104641) Yool Australian Research Council (ARC)
2015 Characterisation of aquaporin-1 (AQP1) ion channel activity in migrating cancer cells using a novel photoswitchable fluorescent probe Yool Institute for Photonics & Advanced Sensing
2011  Aquaporin physiology and drug discovery Yool Adelaide Centre for Neuroscience Research
2010 Role of Aquaporins in mesothelioma Klebe,Yool Flinders Medical Research Foundation
2010 Cloning the Neoparameoba aquaporin channel as a target for parasite control in finfish Cook, Yool CRC Seafood Research Foundation
2010 Role of the brain water channel aquaporin-4 in development and epilepsy Yool Children’s Research Foundation Channel7
2009 Water and ion channel blocking activity of novel neurological agents Yool Neurotherapeutics, Chicago IL USA
2009 The effects of novel aquaporin 4 channel blockers on reducing post stroke edema Chen, Yool Ramaciotti foundation
2006 - 09 Development of novel blockers of Aquaporin-4 channels with translational relevance to stroke-induced brain edema Yool BIO5 Pilot grant, AZ USA
2004 - 09 Predoctoral Training Program in Neuroscience (NIH T321 007434-07) Yool National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA
2003 - 07

Structural basis of ion channel function in Aquaporin-1 (NIH-R01-GM59986)

Yool National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA

Current teaching contributions:

Principles of Human Health and Disease (Hlth Sci 1005)

Dental Science and Practice I (Dent 1005)

Physiology IIA (Physiol 2510) Heart Lung and Neuromuscular Systems

Physiology IIB (Physiol 2520) Systems and Homeostasis

Cellular & Systems Neurobiology (Physiol 3104)

BHMS Year 3 Research Placement Course (Hlth Sci X)

* Research and Critical Appraisal, MBBS year 3 (Med Stud 3014A and B)

Health Sciences Honours Research (AMS)

Honours Research Skills (AMS)



* current course coordinator


  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2022 Principal Supervisor Characterization of Drugs Modulating the Aquaporin Channel Activity to Inhibit Angiogenesis and Metastasis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Kim Kristin Wagner
    2021 Principal Supervisor impeding cellular motility in glioblastoma multiforme models through simultaneous inhibition of glioblastoma-enriched signalling proteins and investigating glioma-neuron bone fide synapses as a novel mechanism of invasion Master of Philosophy (Medical Science) Master Full Time Miss Alanah Varricchio
    2020 Principal Supervisor Analysing the role of Aquaporin channels in the progression of endometrial carcinoma Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Ms Sidra Nawaz Khan
    2020 Principal Supervisor Potential Role of Aquaporin Channels in the Propagation of Extracellular Tau in Alzheimer's Disease Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Zein Alabedyn Amro
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 - 2022 Co-Supervisor Bt toxins: using flies, moths, and oocytes to unravel a complex mode of action Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Biko Kahare Muita
    2018 - 2023 Principal Supervisor Aquaporins - from Ion Channels to Human Cancers Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Saeed Nourmohammadi
    2016 - 2022 Principal Supervisor Role of Aquaporin 1 in Diseases and Drug Discovery Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Pak Hin Chow
    2015 - 2021 Co-Supervisor Evaluation of Anti-Cancer Effect of Synthetic and Plant-based Inhibitors of Aquaporin 1 in Colon Cancer Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Miss Yoko Tomita
    2015 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Pharmacological Modulation of Cancer Migration and Invasion Through Targeting AQP1 Ion and Water Channel Activity Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Michael Lucio De Ieso
    2013 - 2017 Co-Supervisor A Clarification of the Aetiology and Pathogenesis of Renal Tubular Epithelial Cell Vacuolization in Diabetic Ketoacidosis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Chong Zhou
    2013 - 2018 Principal Supervisor A Comparative Study of Physiological and Modulators of Aquaporin ion Channels in Diverse Phyla Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mohamad Kourghi
    2012 - 2014 Co-Supervisor AQUAPORINS: GATEKEEPERS OF OEDEMA IN TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Joshua Luke Burton
    2011 - 2016 Co-Supervisor Evaluation of Indices of Affective State in a Rat Model of Chemotherapy-induced Mucositis Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Alexandra Whittaker
    2011 - 2017 Principal Supervisor Aquaporin in Cancer Cell Migration: Discovery of New Pharmacological Blockers and a Novel Lithium Sensor Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Dr Jinxin Pei
    2009 - 2010 Principal Supervisor Towards Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis Airway Disease: Development of a Single-Dose Lentiviral Gene Transfer for Lifetime Airway Expression Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Ms Alice Stocker
    2008 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Characterisation of a Dominant Negative Androgen Receptor in Prostate Cancer Cells Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Dr Margaret Centenera
  • Memberships

    Date Role Membership Country
    2008 - ongoing Member Australian Physiology Society Australia
    2007 - ongoing Member Australian Society for Biophysics Australia
    2006 - ongoing Member Member of Evelyn McKnight Brain Institute United States
    2002 - ongoing Member American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics United States
  • Editorial Boards

    Date Role Editorial Board Name Institution Country
    2020 - ongoing Board Member Associate Editor, Frontiers in Pharmacology Frontiers Switzerland
  • Review, Assessment, Editorial and Advice

    Date Title Type Institution Country
    2019 - 2022 ARC College of Experts member (2019-2022) Grant Assessment Australian Research Council -
  • Position: Professor of Physiology
  • Phone: 83133359
  • Email:
  • Fax: 83134398
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo North, floor 2
  • Org Unit: Medical Sciences

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