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Personal profile

Research Biography

Nick Spencer completed his BSc(Hons) in 1995 and then his PhD in Neurophysiology in 1998 at the Department of Physiology, Monash University, Australia. In 1998, Nick then moved to The University of Nevada School of Medicine, where he spent 10 years, the first 2 years of which were postdoc. In 2002, Nick obtained a 5 year grant with the NIH, where he studied the intrinsic neural reflex circuitry in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. Nick was offered a tenure-track permanent academic position at the University of Nevada in 2007, but instead took up an academic position at Flinders University.

Since arriving at Flinders University 11 years ago, Nick has been a Chief investigator on 15 NH&MRC project grants and 3 ARC discovery grants (> $8 million AUD). He was Chief Investigator-A on 10 of these 18 externally-funded grants. In 2019, he is Chief investigator on 5 NH&MRC project grants (3 as CIA) and 2 ARC discovery grants on gut-brain axis. In 2018, he published with Dr. Hongzhen Hu, the first wireless optogenetic control of the gut, in the leading journal Gastroenterology.

Nick has been the Course Coordinator of the Bachelor of Medical Science degree for 5 years and Coordinator of Medical Neuroanatomy for 5 years. Research in his laboratory is primarily directed to understanding the neurophysiological basis of pain pathways in visceral organs, and the neural control mechanisms of the enteric nervous system. He has published more than 110 peer reviewed research articles on neuroscience.

In 2014, he was Treasurer of the Australasian Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (ANGMA) and has organised numerous scientific meetings in Australia. In 2012, he was promoted to Associate Professor and in 2015 was promoted to Professor (level E). In 2016, Nick was elected President of the Australasian Neurogastroenterology & Motility Association (ANGMA).

Research Interests

Understanding the neurophysiological basis of pain pathways in visceral organs, and the neural control mechanisms of the enteric nervous system

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Science (Honours), Monash University

PhD, Monash University


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