Dr Elizabeth Beckett

Elizabeth Beckett
Senior Lecturer
Adelaide Medical School
Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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Dr Elizabeth Beckett

Elizabeth is a member of the Adelaide Education Academy, performing an education specialist role within the Faculty of Health Sciences at The University of Adelaide. Elizabeth teaches widely into the undergraduate Bachelor of Health & Medical Sciences, Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) and Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) programs and is actively involved in curriculum design and assessment within these programs.  Elizabeth is co-convenor of the Medical Sciences Major and serves as a program advisor for the Bachelor of Health & Medical Science program. In conjunction with Dr. Renee Turner in the School of Medical Sciences, Dr. Elizabeth Beckett runs a Biology Bridging Course prior to O-week for students entering into Bachelor of Health & Medical Science and Bachelor of Nursing programs.

Elizabeth is also interested investigating the efficacy of particular teaching approaches, including small group discovery, and the use of digital interactive resources within health science undergraduate programs.

Additional research interests focus on the autonomic regulation of, and pacemaking activities within, visceral smooth muscles (including the gastrointestinal tract and uterus) and the involvement of the neuro-immune axis in the development of pathophysiological conditions including endometriosis and gastrointestinal disorders including inflammatory bowel disease and colitis.


Date Position Institution name
2015 Senior Lecturer Level C University of Adelaide
2008 - 2014 Lecturer Level B University of Adelaide


Date Institution name Country Title
2000 - 2004 University of Nevada, Reno United States PhD (Cellular & Molecular Physiology & Pharmacology)
1996 - 2000 Queen's University Belfast United Kingdom BSc Hons (Physiology)


Date Title Institution name Country
2014 Graduate Certificate of Education (Higher Education) University of Adelaide Australia


Date Citation
2017 Beckett,E, Sanders,K, Ward,S, 2017, Inhibitory responses mediated by vagal nerve stimulation are diminished in stomachs of mice with reduced intramuscular interstitial cells of Cajal, Scientific Reports, 7, 1-11 10.1038/srep44759
2016 Dodds,K, Beckett,E, Evans,S, Grace,P, Watkins,L, Hutchinson,M, 2016, Glial contributions to visceral pain : implications for disease etiology and the female predominance of persistent pain, Translational Psychiatry, 6, 9, e888-1-e888-13 10.1038/tp.2016.168
2016 Spencer,N, Kyloh,M, Beckett,E, Brookes,S, Hibberd,T, 2016, Different types of spinal afferent nerve endings in stomach and esophagus identified by anterograde tracing from dorsal root ganglia, Journal of Comparative Neurology, 524, 15, 3064-3083 10.1002/cne.24006
2015 Dodds,K, Staikopoulos,V, Beckett,E, 2015, Uterine contractility in the nonpregnant mouse: changes during the estrous cycle and effects of chloride channel blockade, Biology of Reproduction, 92, 6, 141-1-141-15 10.1095/biolreprod.115.129809
2014 Herweijer,G, Kyloh,M, Dodds,KN, Spencer,NJ, Beckett,EA, 2014, Characterization of primary afferent spinal innervation of mouse uterus, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8, Jul, 202-1-202-6 10.3389/fnins.2014.00202
2014 Barnes,K, Beckett,E, Brookes,S, Sia,T, Spencer,N, 2014, Control of intrinsic pacemaker frequency and velocity of colonic migrating motor complexes in mouse, Frontiers in Neuroscience, 8, May, 96-1-96-8 10.3389/fnins.2014.00096
2013 Yool,A, Morelle,J, Cnops,Y, Verbavatz,J, Campbell,E, Spencer,E, Booker,G, Flynn,G, Devuyst,O, 2013, AqF026 is a pharmacologic agonist of the water channel aquaporin-1, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 24, 7, 1045-1052 10.1681/ASN.2012080869
2013 Spencer,N, Nicholas,S, Sia,T, Staikopoulos,V, Kyloh,M, Spencer,E, 2013, By what mechanism does ondansetron inhibit colonic migrating motor complexes: does it require endogenous serotonin in the gut wall?, Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 25, 8, 677-685 10.1111/nmo.12136
2010 Roberts,R, Ellis,M, Gwynne,R, Bergner,A, Lewis,M, Spencer,E, Bornstein,J, Young,H, 2010, The first intestinal motility patterns in fetal mice are not mediated by neurons or interstitial cells of Cajal, Journal of Physiology-London, 588, 7, 1153-1169 10.1113/jphysiol.2009.185421
2009 Migliati,E, Meurice,N, Dubois,P, Fang,J, Somasekharan,S, Spencer,E, Flynn,G, Yool,A, 2009, Inhibition of aquaporin-1 and aquaporin-4 water permeability by a derivative of the loop diuretic bumetanide acting at an internal pore-occluding binding site, Molecular Pharmacology, 76, 1, 105-112 10.1124/mol.108.053744
2008 Spencer,E, Han,I, Baker,S, Han,J, Britton,F, Koh,S, 2008, Functional and molecular identification of pH-sensitive K+ channels in murine urinary bladder smooth muscle, BJU International, 102, 1, 113-124 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.07541.x
2007 Spencer,E, Ro,S, Bayguinov,Y, Sanders,K, Ward,S, 2007, Kit signaling is essential for development and maintenance of interstitial cells of Cajal and electrical rhythmicity in the embryonic gastrointestinal tract, Developmental Dynamics, 236, 1, 60-72 10.1002/dvdy.20929
2007 Spencer,E, Hollywood,M, Thornbury,K, McHale,N, 2007, Spontaneous electrical activity in sheep mesenteric lymphatics, Lymphatic Research and Biology, 5, 1, 29-44 10.1089/lrb.2007.5104
2006 Spencer,E, McCloskey,C, O'Kane,N, Sanders,K, Koh,S, 2006, Effects of female steroid hormones on A-type K⁺ currents in murine colon, Journal of Physiology-London, 573, 2, 453-468 10.1113/jphysiol.2006.107375
2005 Spencer,E, Takeda,Y, Yanase,H, Sanders,K, Ward,S, 2005, Synaptic specializations exist between enteric motor nerves and interstitial cells of Cajal in the murine stomach, Journal of Comparative Neurology, 493, 2, 193-206 10.1002/cne.20746
2005 Cho,S, Spencer,E, Baker,S, Han,I, Park,K, Monaghan,K, Ward,S, Sanders,K, Koh,S, 2005, A pH-sensitive potassium conductance (TASK) and its function in the murine gastrointestinal tract, Journal of Physiology-London, 565, 1, 243-259 10.1113/jphysiol.2005.084574
2004 Spencer,E, Bayguinov,Y, Sanders,K, Ward,S, Hirst,D, 2004, Properties of unitary potentials generated by intramuscular interstitial cells of Cajal in the murine and guinea-pig gastric fundus, Journal of Physiology-London, 559, 1, 259-269 10.1113/jphysiol.2004.063016
2003 Spencer,E, McGeough,C, Sanders,K, Ward,S, 2003, Pacing of interstitial cells of Cajal in the murine gastric antrum: neurally mediated and direct stimulation, Journal of Physiology-London, 553, 2, 545-559 10.1113/jphysiol.2003.050419
2002 Hirst,D, Spencer,E, Sanders,K, Ward,S, 2002, Regional variation in contribution of myenteric and intramuscular interstitial cells of Cajal to generation of slow waves in mouse gastric antrum, Journal of Physiology-London, 3, 3, 1003-1012 10.1113/jphysiol.2001.013672
2002 Lorenz,J, Riddervold,M, Spencer,E, Baker,S, Perrino,B, 2002, Differential autophosphorylation of CaM kinase II from phasic and tonic smooth muscle tissues, American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology, 283, 5, C1399-C1413 10.1152/ajpcell.00020.2002
2002 Spencer,E, Horiguchi,K, Khoyi,M, Sanders,K, Ward,S, 2002, Loss of enteric motor neurotransmission in the gastric fundus of Sl/Sld mice, Journal of Physiology-London, 543, 3, 871-887 10.1113/jphysiol.2002.021915
2002 Sergeant,G, Large,R, Spencer,E, McGeough,C, Ward,S, Horowitz,B, 2002, Microarray comparison of normal and W/Wv mice in the gastric fundus indicates a supersensitive phenotype, Physiological Genomics, 11, 1, 1-9 10.1152/physiolgenomics.00052.2002
2002 Kim,T, Spencer,E, Hanna,R, Koh,S, Ordog,T, Ward,S, Sanders,K, 2002, Regulation of pacemaker frequency in the murine gastric antrum, Journal of Physiology-London, 538, 1, 145-157 10.1113/jphysiol.2001.012765
2000 Ward,S, Beckett,E, Wang,X, Baker,F, Khoyi,M, Sanders,K, 2000, Interstitial cells of Cajal mediate cholinergic neurotransmission from enteric motor neurons, Journal of Neuroscience, 20, 4, 1393-1403

Book Chapters

Date Citation
2017 Beckett,EA, Young,HM, Bornstein,JC, Jadcherla,SR, 2017, Development of Gut Motility, Springer, Switzerland, pp. 21-37 10.1007/978-3-319-43268-7
2013 Young,H, Spencer,E, Bornstein,J, Jadcherla,S, 2013, Development of gut motility, Springer, United States, pp. 23-35 10.1007/978-1-60761-709-9_3

Conference Papers

Date Citation
2015 Dodds,K, Beckett,E, Staikopoulos,V, Evans,S, Hutchinson,M, 2015, Novel mouse model of endometriosis permits identification of spinal glia and nociception characteristics involved in pelvic pain, 25th Biennial Meeting of the International-Society-for-Neurochemistry Jointly with the 13th Meeting of the Asian-Pacific-Society-for-Neurochemistry in Conjunction with the 35th Meeting of the Australasian-Neuroscience-Society, Cairns, AUSTRALIA
2005 Beckett,E, Troung,H, McCloskey,C, Takeda,Y, Sanders,KM, Koh,SD, 2005, Effects of female steroid hormoneS on the expression of potassium currents in murine colonic myocytes, 49th Annual Meeting of the Biopysical-Society, Long Beach, CA

Elizabeth is the course coordinator of Physiology IIB: Systems & Homeostasis, a level II undergraduate physiology course. Physiology IIB focuses on the physiological systems that underpin the body's regulation of its internal environment. Themes include: the role of endocrine glands and their hormones; the function of the central and peripheral nervous systems in sensing and responding to changes in the external environment; the gastrointestinal tract in providing nutrition to the body and; the renal system in regulation of fluid and ion levels. In practicals students undertake research experiments that are designed to reinforce the themes covered in the course and promote a deeper understanding of research methods, ethical considerations in medical research and data processing in scientific research. 

Elizabeth is co-convenor of the Medical Sciences Major and serves as a program advisor for the Bachelor of Health & Medical Science program. In conjunction with Dr. Renee Turner in the School of Medical Sciences, Dr. Elizabeth Beckett runs a Biology Bridging Course prior to O-week for students entering into Bachelor of Health & Medical Science and Bachelor of Nursing programs.

Co-supervisor to: Kelsi Dodds (PhD candidate), "Neuro-immune involvement in the development of endometriosis"  Discipline of Physiology, School of Medicine [Principal supervisor: Prof. Mark Hutchinson]

Committee Memberships

Date Role Committee Institution Country
2013 Board Member MBBS level 1 committee University Of Adelaide Australia
Senior Lecturer
North Terrace
Medical School North
Room Number
4 17
Org Unit
Medical Sciences