Translational Psychopharmacology Team

Translational Psychopharmacology

Bridging translational divides for disorders of the brain and mind.

Our team aims to discover and develop novel treatments for disorders of the brain and mind. 

About our research

Translational Pharmacology is the translation of knowledge gained to advance the innovation into practice in a clinical setting, in the form of medications to treat conditions of the brain. 

Our team contributes to the discovery and development of new therapeutics for disorders that currently lack safe and effective treatments or where the existing therapeutics have substantial room for improvement. Our research questions are focused on improving our ability to:

  • Translate findings in human patient populations. 
  • Translate findings in cellular models into complex disease models. 
  • Translate results in complex disease models into the clinic.

Our early priority program includes a focus on novel preclinical and early clinical stage therapeutics developed for treating social dysfunction and neurodevelopmental disorders and for managing various symptoms in dementia.

Other major programs include: understanding the mechanisms driving the transition from acute to chronic pain to facilitate the development of more effective treatments.

Our work also goes towards supporting the development of KNX100, one of the only novel molecular entities in clinical development, for the treatment of opioid use disorder globally. 

Our Team Research Priorities

  • Global health challenges
  • Ageing and aged care
  • Supporting Australian biomedical development 
  • Dementia
  • Mental Health 
  • Prevent and treat NCDs and mental health conditions

Our Approach 

To conduct this work, we will partner across academia, industry and government and utilise a range of techniques including genetic tools, omics, disease models, real-time in-vivo recordings, advanced computing, microscopy, and preclinical and clinical imaging. 

Our Current Projects

We are developing this lead candidate in partnership with Kinoxis Therapeutics and the US NIH for the treatment of opioid use disorder and agitation and aggression in dementia. KNX100 has a novel, undisclosed mechanism of action and is currently in Phase I clinical trials. 

In partnership with Kinoxis Therapeutics, we are developing novel pharmacological treatments targeting the brain oxytocin system that are aimed at treating social impairments in psychiatric and neurodevelopmental disorders. 

We are exploring the utility of targeting extrasynaptic GABAA receptors to treat neurodevelopmental disorders.

A primary early objective for our team is to establish a preclinical pharmacological fMRI (phMRI) pipeline & harmonisation of techniques used in preclinical and clinical research has been identified as an area that holds significant promise for improving translational outcomes in the CNS space.

We are conducting research to further our understanding of the physiological processes that govern how acute pain transitions into chronic pain, which may enable the design of better ways to prevent or treat chronic pain following nerve injury.

Our Team

  • Dr Nick Everett
  • Dr Stela Petkova
  • Dr Erin Lynch
  • Dr James Kang
  • Dr Gaelle Emvalomenos
  • Damien Boorman
  • Dr Neomi Meylakh
  • Dr Aimie Peek
  • Gabriella Guy
  • Tim Lee
  • Connie Badolato
  • Mia Langguth
  • Oliver Tan
  • Rhianne Scicluna
  • Tylah Doolan
  • Lewis Crawford
  • Rebecca Robinson
  • Fernando Tinoco

Key Publication


  • Tan O, Bowen MT. (2023). The vasopressin V1A receptor and aggression: Challenges and potential novel treatments. In, Anger, Aggression and Violence: Causes, Pathology and Treatments. Springer-Nature.[more information] 
  • Raymond JS, Everett NA, Gururajan A, Bowen MT. (2023). The influence of intraperitoneal and intranasal oxytocin on sleep-wake behaviour and neurophysiology in rats. Sleep[more information] 
  • Scicluna RL, Wilson BB, Thelaus SH, Arnold JC, McGregor IS, Bowen MT. (2022). Cannabidiol reduced the severity of gastrointestinal symptoms of opioid withdrawal in male and female mice. Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research[more information] 
  • Milligan, C., Anderson, L., Bowen, M., Banister, S., McGregor, I., Arnold, J., Petrou, S. (2022). A nutraceutical product, extracted from Cannabis sativa, modulates voltage-gated sodium channel function. Journal of Cannabis Research, 4(1). [More Information]
  • Bowen, M., George, O., Muskiewicz, D., Hall, F. (2022). FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO THE ESCALATION OF ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 132, 730-756. [More Information]
  • Kevin, R., Cairns, E., Boyd, R., Arnold, J., Bowen, M., McGregor, I., Banister, S. (2022). Off-target pharmacological profiling of synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists including AMB-FUBINACA, CUMYL-PINACA, PB-22, and XLR-11. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 13. [More Information]
  • Rehn, S., Raymond, J., Boakes, R., Bowen, M. (2022). Sucrose intake by rats affected by both intraperitoneal oxytocin administration and time of day. Psychopharmacology, 239(2), 429-442. [More Information]
  • Mungoven, T., Marciszewski, K., Macefield, V., Macey, P., Henderson, L., Meylakh, N. (2022). Alterations in pain processing circuitries in episodic migraine. Journal of Headache and Pain, 23(1), 9. [More Information]
  • Lee, B., Di Pietro, F., Henderson, L., Austin, P. (2022). Altered basal ganglia infraslow oscillation and resting functional connectivity in complex regional pain syndrome. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 100(7), 1487-1505. [More Information]
  • Pal, A., Martinez, F., Chatterjee, R., Aysola, R., Harper, R., Macefield, V., Henderson, L., Macey, P. (2022). Baroreflex sensitivity during rest and pressor challenges in obstructive sleep apnea patients with and without CPAP. Sleep Medicine, 97, 73-81. [More Information]
  • Meylakh, N., Henderson, L. (2022). Exploring alterations in sensory pathways in migraine. Journal of Headache and Pain, 23(1), 5. [More Information]
  • Robertson, R., Crawford, L., Meylakh, N., Macey, P., Macefield, V., Keay, K., Henderson, L. (2022). Regional hypothalamic, amygdala, and midbrain periaqueductal gray matter recruitment during acute pain in awake humans: A 7-Tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging study. NeuroImage, 259. [More Information]
  • Mandwie, M., Piper, J., Gorrie, C., Keay, K., Musumeci, G., Al-Badri, G., Castorina, A. (2022). Rapid GFAP and Iba1 expression changes in the female rat brain following spinal cord injury. Neural Regeneration Research, 17(2), 378-385. [More Information]
  • Robertson, R., Crawford, L., Meylakh, N., Macey, P., Macefield, V., Keay, K., Henderson, L. (2022). Regional hypothalamic, amygdala, and midbrain periaqueductal gray matter recruitment during acute pain in awake humans: A 7-Tesla functional magnetic resonance imaging study. NeuroImage, 259. [More Information]
  • Sosa, M., Boorman, D., Keay, K. (2022). Sciatic nerve injury rebalances the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis in rats with persistent changes to their social behaviours. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 34(6). [More Information]
  • Boorman, D., Keay, K. (2022). Sex differences in morphine sensitivity are associated with differential glial expression in the brainstem of rats with neuropathic pain. Journal of Neuroscience Research, 100(10), 1890-1907. [More Information]
  • Wu, A., Xiao, Q., McWatt, S., Utomo, R., Talis, A., Saraci, K., Brassett, C., Sagoo, M., Wingate, R., Chien, C., Keay, K., et al (2022). The Anatomy Course During COVID-19: The Impact of Cadaver-Based Learning on the Initiation of Reflection on Death. Medical Science Educator, 32(5), 1033-1044. [More Information]