Ian Musgrave

Dr Ian Musgrave

Senior Lecturer

Adelaide Medical School

Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences

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


I am a molecular pharmacologist who works at the University of Adelaide, Australia. I have a broad interest in the understanding of how surface receptors can modulate neuronal function and survival, as well as interests in natural product pharmacology and toxicology as well as drug design. I am also interested in evolutionary biology, science communication (committee member of SA Science Communicators). I write for the Conversation on the toxicological impacts of everyday items. I am also an avid amateur astronomer. My astronomy blog is astroblog.

I did postdoctoral work in the Institute of Pharmacology at the Free University of Berlin in 1991-1994, returning to Australia in 1994. I have collaborated with Professor John Carver, Dr. Scot Smid and Professor Colin Barrow on using natural products to attack the neurodegeneration process in Alzheimer’s Disease. I am currently the convenor of the Toxicology Special Interest Group of the Australasian Society for Pharmacology and Toxicology. I am also collaborating with Professor Roger Byard on the forensic implications of herbal medicines. I have held NH&MRC funding and ARC funding.

The main thrust of my research has been the role of signal transduction in neuronal function. In recent years this has extended into the area of neuroprotection and neurotoxicity. This has been followed on three fronts; the role of amyloid peptides in neurotoxicity, and how this may be combated with natural products. This work is undertaken with Professor John Carver and Dr. Scott Smid. We have found potent products that can prevent and disrupt amyloid formation. This has profound implications not only for the therapy of Alzhemiers disease, but for a wide range disease that involve of protein misfolding, from systemic amyloidosis to HIV infection.

As well, I have formed collaboration with Professor Colin Barrow (with whom I have collaborated on imidazloine receptor research) in an ARC linkage grant (LP100100069) to look at the role of defensins in ameliorating amyloid damage. My work in this area has been recognised by my being elected to the co-convernor role of the Healthy Ageing Research Cluster, which promoted Ageing research in South Australia (and through which I represented University of Adelaide Researchers at the State government Aging Research round table), until 2010.

As a further logical development of the natural product theme my work has branched out into neurotoxicology with work with Professor Roger Byard and Professor Michael Bunce (Curtin University WA) looking at the toxicity of herbal medicines. (NHMRC Grant APP1061329) As result of this work we have a collaboration with the TGA and have been able to advise them of potentially dangerous herbal medicines.

More recently I have developed collaboration on cynaobacterial toxins with Dr. Andrew Humpage at the Australian Water Quality Centre, SA water

My work in this area was been recognised by my being elected to the co-convernor role of the Healthy Ageing Research Cluster, which promotes Ageing research in South Australia (and through which I represented University of Adelaide Researchers at the State government Aging Reserach round table). More recently I become convenor, then chair, of the Toxoicology Special Interest Group in the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists andToxicologists (ASCEPT), the peak professional body for pharmacologists in Australia. I was recently elected to the ASCEPT Board.

As well, I have had a very productive collaboration with Professor John Bowie investigating defensive neuroptides from frog secretions. These have the potential to be developed into new drugs for pain relief or brain injury.

This focus on neuroprotection developed from my work on imidazoline receptors with Professor John Piletz. There has been some remarkable developments in the field of imidazoline receptor research, some of which I have been privileged to be a part of. My collaborator, Dr. John Piletz, reported the first clone of the I1-receptor and highly selective I1-ligands were shown to produce hypotension in a2-adrenoceptor knock out mice, significantly strengthening a role for these receptors in blood pressure control. Since then, using cells transfected with the cloned imidazoline receptor, we have been able to show that these receptors have significant effects on neuronal growth, survival and neurite formation, as well as being involved in re-organising the neuronal cytoskeleton. For the first time, it appears we have an insight into how these receptors affect neuromodulation and neuroprotection. Furthermore, a wider role in disease states is apparent from results suggesting that imidazoline receptors are involved in mood disorders and modulation of pain perception.

These results built on important results we found in intact animals. In collaboration with Dr Emilio Badoer of the Department of Medical Laboratory Science, and Colin Barrow of the University of Melbourne, I had demonstrated that an endogenous imidazoline ligand, harmane, produces hypotension when micro-injected into the brainstem.  This was the first time a candidate endogenous ligand had been shown to modulate blood pressure and represents a significant advance in our knowledge.  We have also produced a series of novel compounds that have significant affinity and selectivity for I1-receptors, and are currently testing them functionally. We are currently investigating patenting these compounds. We have also found that I1-receptor ligands, including one of our lead b-carbolines, activate tyrosine kinase, consistent with the structure of the recently described clone.  These results are also consistent with the above discoveries of the cloned receptors effects on neuronal growth and survival. Dr. John Piletz, isolator of this clone, and I are currently working to confirm the signal transduction pathway of the clone, and compare it to the native receptors.

Importantly, it appears that some of our imidazoline ligands may also have neuroprotective actions. Dr. Phil Burcham of Adelaide University and myself have performed some exciting preliminary experiments that suggest these compounds may have potential as anti-Alzheimer therapies. Some of the “adduct trapping” compounds that Dr. Burcham has discovered to reverse oxidative stress-induced damage also appear to promote recovery of neurons from damage in models of Alzheimer’s disease. These results have been incorporated into Dr. Burcham’s patent PCT/AU0-2/00900.

The work on Imidazoline receptors follows on from work I began in 1991, when I was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship and went to the Institute of Pharmacology at the Free University of Berlin. I worked in the laboratory of Professor Gunter Schultz, an international authority on receptor-second messenger interactions.  I studied the linkage of a2‑adrenoceptor subtypes to second messenger pathways and the second messenger pathways involved in the functional response to the then newly described a2‑adrenoceptor-like imidazoline receptors. This work was continued with the award of an NH&MRC C.J. Martin Research Fellowship in 1992.  .

In October 1994 I returned to Australia to work at Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research to continue my work on imidazoline receptors and ion channels and to extend my findings from cell lines to animal models.  Experiments in the corpus striatum confirmed and extended the findings from cell lines. I have shown that imidazoline receptor ligands inhibit nicotine-stimulated dopamine release with potencies and orders of affinity that reflect their affinity for the nicotinic receptors.

Prior to this I had completed a Ph.D. at the University of Melbourne on an Australian Postgraduate Award with Dr. H. Majewski and Professor M.J. Rand (Department of Pharmacology).  In my doctoral work I studied the second messenger mechanisms by which prejunctional a2‑adrenoceptors and angiotensin II receptors modulate noradrenaline release from sympathetic nerves.  In 1989 I submitted my Ph.D. thesis entitled: Involvement of second messenger systems in the modulation of noradrenaline release from sympathetic nerves.  This study was continued on an NH&MRC grant on which I was a co-investigator on a National Health and Research Council Research Project Grant working on second messengers and the control of noradrenaline release.  This work provided basic evidence for the signalling pathways operative in sympathetic nerves and the work on G-proteins was instrumental in opening debate about a2-adrenoceptor coupling processes

My Ph.D. grew out of work I performed for my Masters project. In 1980 I joined Professor R.D. Gordon's hypertension group at the Greenslopes Repatriation Hospital as a research assistant, working on a National Heart Foundation project on the effect of a low salt diet on sympathetic neurotransmission. In 1982 I enrolled in a part-time M.Sc. on the modulation of sympathetic neurotransmission under the joint supervision of Professor R.D. Gordon (Department of Medicine) and Professor B. Shanley (Department of Biochemistry).  I submitted my M.Sc. thesis: Modulation of noradrenergic transmission in humans by circulating adrenaline in 1986.

Date Project/ No. Investigators Funding Body
2018    “Anticoagulant rodenticide excretion in rats following median lethal dose (LD50) administration” Hamilton, Jolley, Howard, Musgrave Australian Pork Limited Project 2018/0011
2018     ‘More than providing a microphone: Establishing a research cluster for public engagement with STEM research and policy' Ankeny R et al., Interdisciplinary Research Fund. (University of Adelaide Internal Grant)

 2017                      

Australian Pork Limited "rodenticide feeding study in rats" Hamilton, Jolley, Howard, Musgrave Australian Pork Limited APL Project 2016/2230

2016

In vitro toxicology assessment of herbal medicines. Maker et al. Murdoch University Small Grant
2014 Development of 'omics-based approaches to investigate labelling accuracy and legality of herbal medicine in Australia Bunce M et al. NHMRC APP1061329
2013 Structure function relationships of anti-amyloid drugs: verification in an in-vivo model. Musgrave IF, Smid SD, Pukala T, O’Keefe L Interdisciplinary Research Fund (University of Adelaide Internal Grant)
2010

Development and integration of software for practicum delivery and assessment in third year pharmacology courses 

Smid SD, Salem A, Musgrave IF University of Adelaide Internal Grant
2009

Enzymatic synthesis, microencapsulation and biological evaluation of a new class of omega-3 derivedfunctional food ingredients.

Barrow et al. ARC Linkage Grant LP100100069
2009 New drug treatments for Alzhemier’s disease Smid SD, Musgrave IF Sunshine Foundation Grant
2009 Development and evaluation of on-line assessment materials for a second year compulsory course within the Bachelor of Health Sciences program Salem A, Smid SD, Musgrave IF, Carrington A University of Adelaide Internal Grants
2007 Ensuring Quality Graduates of Pharmacology   ALTC (formerly Carrick) Education Grant (member of ASCEPT Education consortium)
2006

 

Ingman W, Musgrave IF, and Robertson SA Faculty Small Grant
2006   Ingman W, Musgrave IF, and Robertson SA Faculty Small Grant
2004   Burcham P, Musgrave IF SA Brain Foundation Grant
2004   Musgrave IF, Piletz J and Head G University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health Sciences Small Grants
2003

 

Musgrave IF University of Adelaide, Faculty of Health Sciences Travelling Fellowship Grant for Professor John Piletz
2003    Musgrave IF SA Brain Foundation grant
2002   Musgrave IF et al. Rebecca Cooper Foundation grant
2001    Musgrave IF Adelaide University, B3 New Appointment grant
1999 Identification of a new endogenous ligand for imidazoline receptors. Barrow C, Musgrave IF ARC small grant
1999 Electrophysiology –Single cell fluorescence setup Majewski H, Chen C, Musgrave IF, Li C-G, Badoer E Wellcome Trust Equipment Grant
1997

Imidazoline receptors and modulation of ion channels

Musgrave IF NH&MRC project grant 981123
1995 Imidazoline receptors modulate nicotinic ion channels. Musgrave IF Ramaciotti Foundation Grant
1992    Musgrave IF NH&MRC CJ Martin Fellowship
1990    Musgrave IF Alexander Von Humboldt Fellowship
1989 Role of PKC on sympathetic transmitter release Majewski H & Musgrave IF NH&MRC Project grant

Undergraduate 

Date Course Details
2013-present Course coordinator PHARM 3010 Drug Action and Discovery
2013-present Course co-ordinator, Dental& Health Science III and IV (Pharmacology Stream)
2010-2011 Course coordinator Drug Discovery and Development (PHARM 4200 and lecturer)
2008-present Lecturing for B. Pharm Eng. PHARM 2002 and 2003 rebadged as PHARM 2100 and PHARM 2200, Course coordinator, lecturer and workshop leader PHARM 2200, Drugs Chemicals and the Environment
2007-2013

Course co-ordinator, Dental& Health Science IV (Pharmacology Stream)

2007-present Lecturer in nursing courses, tutor in Dental& Health Science IV (Pharmacology Stream).
2006-present Course coordinator, 2nd year courses (PHARM 2002, 2003, Drugs Chemicals and Health and Drugs Chemicals and the Environment respectively). Lecturer, tutor and demonstrator in 2nd, 3rd year BSc.BHealth Sc. Courses (PHARM 2002, 2003, 3010, 3011). Workshop leader in 2nd year courses, B.Health Sc
2004-2005

Course co-ordinator, 3rd year second semester courses, Pharmacology BIII, B.Sc. 2004. Concepts in Pharmacology BIII and Research Methods in Pharmacology BIII B.Health Sc. 2004; Lecturer, tutor and demonstrator in 3rd year BSc.BHealth Sc. courses. Workshop participant in Fundamentals in Drug Development 3rd year BHealth Sc. Lecturer, tutor, workshop leader in 2nd year course, B.Health Sc.

2002-2003 Course co-ordinator, 3rd year second semester course, Advanced topics in Pharmacology, B.Sc. B.Health Sc. 2003. Lecturing, tutoring and practical class co-ordination, third year basic and advanced pharmacology course B.Sc. B.Health Sc. Lecturer, tutor, workshop leader in 2nd year course, B.Health Sc
2001

Lecturing, tutoring and practical class co-ordination, third year basic and advanced pharmacology course. Department of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, Adelaide University: B.Sc. B.Health Sc.

1999-2000

Lecturing, and practical class demonstrating, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, RMIT University: B App Sc.

1991-1998 Lecturing, and practical class demonstrating, Department of Pharmacology, Monash University: BSc (Hons), BSc
1987-1990 Lecturing, tutoring and practical class demonstrating Department of Pharmacology, University of Melbourne BSc (Hons), BSc, Dentistry, Medicine

 Teaching Development

Date Course Details
2016 Invited speaker, 3D visualisations of drug-receptor interactions
2011 Invited Speaker, ASCEPT Education Workshop (Perth): speaking on Physical Theatre as a metod of student engagement
2010 Presentation of ALTC (formerly Carrick) grant “Ensuring Quality Graduates of Pharmacology” material at WorldPharma
2009 Finalised report on the ALTC (formerly Carrick) grant “Ensuring Quality Graduates of Pharmacology Member, ASCEPT Mentoring scheme
2008

Invited Speaker, ASCEPT Education Workshop (Sydney): speaking on Votapedia as a novel assessment tool

2007-present Carrick Education Grant team member
2007-present Member ASCEPT Education Special Interest Group
2007 Participant, ASCEPT Teaching Workshop
2006-2007 Colleague Development Program participant
2006 HARC mentoring round table
2003 Teaching at University Course
2003 Member of ASCEPT core curriculum development group
2001-present Various service courses for using MyUni

Other Teaching Service

2006 -2009  Member Teacher Twinning Group (support to high School Science Teachers)

School Service

Date Service
2009-2012 School Honours Coordinator
2007-2008 Convenor School Research Committee (School RQF coordinator, ERA response co-ordinator, submission of responses to State Gov’t inquiry into the future of research in South Australia, coordinator School Grant Review process)
2007-present Member OH&S Committee
2006-2012 Member School Research Committee
2006-2013 Open Day co-ordinator for Discipline, then School

Departmental Service

Date Details
2009-2012 Discipline honours Co-ordinator, Teaching and Learning committee
2007-2008 B. Pharm Eng course development. Teaching and Learning committee, Marketting Committee
2006 Seminar co-ordinator, Teaching and Learning committee, B. Pharm Eng development. Marketting Committee
2005 Seminar co-ordinator, Teaching and Learning committee, third year development group. Open day co-ordinator.
2004 Seminar co-ordinator, Teaching and Learning committee, third year development group. Open day co-ordinator
2003 Seminar co-ordinator, Equipment committee, Teaching and Learning committee, third year development group, Open day co-ordinator, ASMR research day co-ordinator.
2002

ASMR research day co-ordinator.

2001 Departmental Research Committee, Faculty of Science board, Second year development group
2000 RMIT Departmental seminar organiser
1999-2000 Drug Research and Development Group management committee
1999-2000 Medical Laboratory Science Research Committee
1994-1998 Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research, Institute Scientific Group (Chairman: 1995-1996)
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  • Current Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2018 Principal Supervisor Inflammatory profiles in human neurodegenerative diseases: a study of common patterns, potential biomarkers and pathogenic mechanisms Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Anuradha Subashini Tennakoon
    2017 Co-Supervisor Enteric Neuronal Formation and Expression of Amyloidogenic Proteins Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Dylan Thomas Marsh
    2017 Principal Supervisor Herb-Herb Interactions in Drug-induced Hepatotoxicity Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Susan Marie Britza
  • Past Higher Degree by Research Supervision (University of Adelaide)

    Date Role Research Topic Program Degree Type Student Load Student Name
    2016 - 2019 Principal Supervisor Herbal Medicine Toxicity, the Role of Adulterants, Contaminants and Pharmokinetic Interactions Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Miss Rachael Louise Farrington
    2015 - 2018 Co-Supervisor Small molecular inhibitors of Amyloid beta and alpha Synuclein amyloidogenic aggregation, toxicity and in silico design of amyloid-binding ligands Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mrs Sukanya Das
    2013 - 2018 Co-Supervisor A Comparative Study of Physiological and Modulators of Aquaporin ion Channels in Diverse Phyla Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mohamad Kourghi
    2012 - 2017 Principal Supervisor The Effect of the Cyanobacterial Toxin Saxitoxin on Neurodevelopment Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Katie O'Neill
    2011 - 2015 Co-Supervisor The Functional Studies of Amyloid Fibrils and their Toxicity Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Abigail Kegomoditswe Elias
    2010 - 2011 Co-Supervisor Characterization of the zebrafish Orthologue of Klotho Master of Science Master Full Time Mr Yuya Sugano
    2010 - 2014 Co-Supervisor The Effect of Cannabinoids on Cytokine Evoked Human Colonic Mucosal Damage and Caco-2 Epithelial Permeability Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Benjamin Harvey
    2005 - 2010 Co-Supervisor Genotoxicity Investigation of Organic N-Chloramines Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Full Time Mr Somprasong Laingam
    2004 - 2008 Principal Supervisor Imidazoline Receptor Antisera - Selected Protein: A Unique Modulator of Neuronal Differentiation Doctor of Philosophy Doctorate Part Time Mr Francis Dehle
  • Position: Senior Lecturer
  • Phone: 83133905
  • Email: ian.musgrave@adelaide.edu.au
  • Fax: 8313 8059
  • Campus: North Terrace
  • Building: Helen Mayo South, floor 5
  • Room: 5 15a
  • Org Unit: Medical Sciences

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