About Professor Macdonald Christie

Mac's work aims to understand the mechanisms of plasticity in the nervous system that cause pathological states such as drug addiction and persistent pain. Understanding of these mechanisms will lead to development of more effective therapeutics.

Mac Christie is an internationally recognised neuroscientist/ neuropharmacologist determining molecular, cellular, synaptic and behavioural mechanisms of opioid addiction and persistent pain states.

After completing a PhD at The University of Sydney in neuropharmacology using behavioural methods and neurochemistry in 1983, He was awarded a Fogarty Fellowship to join the lab of a world leading cellular neurophysiologist, Dr R Alan North, at MIT in 1985 and then the Vollum Institute in 1997, developing patch clamp recording in isolated neurons and the first Xenopus oocyte expression laboratories at that institute to exploit developments in cloning and expression of excitability molecules with a range of outstanding scientists. On return to Australia as a Lecturer in Pharmacology at The University of Sydney in 1990, he further developed patch-clamp techniques soon after they were first established in brain slices to simultaneously label cells and circuits while recording using tract tracing, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization and single cell PCR, while continuing to build a laboratory with a broad range of technical capabilities (behavioural, biochemical, molecular) to complement the physiological approach, as well as develop a range of outstanding international collaborations to maintain these approaches as state of the art. He has published over 220 research papers, many of them in the most highly regarded scientific journals. His work is widely cited by other scientists, with a career total of over 16,000 citations. Mac is also committed to increasing the awareness of the general community in the scientific understanding of the biological bases of addiction and persistent pain. From 2003 to mid-2108 Mac was a Senior Principal Research Fellow of the NH&MRC, when he stepped down to take on the role of Associate Dean Research in the new Faculty of Medicine and Health. He is also a Professor of Pharmacology in the School of Medical Sciences.

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Selected publications

For a comprehensive list of Professor Christie's publicatons, please visit his Sydney Medical School profile page.