The Florey Neuroscience Seminar Series: Professor Brian Dean

12 September 2019

Event date: Tuesday 24 September, 1-2 pm

Neuroscience Seminar Series

The role of the muscarinic M1 receptor in the pathophysiology and treatment of schizophrenia

Level 5 Seminar Room, Kenneth Myer Building, 30 Royal Parade Parkville

Professor Brian Dean (Head, Molecular Psychiatry Laboratory, The Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health)

Bio: Brian Dean is Head of the Molecular Psychiatry Laboratory and Deputy Director of the Victorian Brain Bank at The Florey, a Professorial Research Fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, Swinburne University and Professorial Fellow in the Department of Florey Neuroscience and Mental Health, the University of Melbourne.

Brian is interested in the biology of a cell and how changes in cellular biology can affect brain function.  Brian initially specialised in the fields of pharmacology and parasitology, obtaining a Higher National Diploma in Applied Biology from the Sunderland University, UK and then specialised in biochemistry by obtaining a Licentiate of the Institute of Biology from the University of the Southbank, London.  Subsequently, Brian obtained a Master of Science and a Doctoral Degree from the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Brian seeks to understand how changes in cellular biology can cause the symptoms of psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia, major depressive disorders and bipolar disorders.  Recently, he has begun publishing findings on the cellular biology of suicide.  His approach is to identify changes in the molecular cytoarchitecture of post-mortem CNS from people who have suffered from a psychiatric disorder compared to individuals who have not had such illnesses and to  then to use animal and cellular models to understand the potential impact of such changes on brain function.

In over 250 peer reviewed papers, Brian has published significant bodies of work contributing to an understanding of the roles of muscarinic receptors, serotonin receptors and cortical gene expression in the aetiologies and treatment of schizophrenia as well as work on the role of neurotransmitter receptors and cytokine-regulated pathways in the pathophysiologies of schizophrenia and mood disorders.  In collaboration with clinical colleagues Brian has developed a PET muscarinic receptor radioligand to study those receptors in people with psychiatric illnesses and is developing clinically useful diagnostic or theranostic tests that will assist in the management of psychiatric disorders.

Brian is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology and the CINP, is a member of ACNP and is a Chartered Biologist.  In 2019 Brian received the Outstanding Basic Research Scientist Award from the Schizophrenia International Research Society, the Lundbeck Basic Science Award from the Asian College of Neuropsychopharmacology and the Isaac Schweitzer Award from Biological Psychiatry Australia.  Brian had previously received the Lilly Oration Award from the Australian Society of Psychiatric Research and had presented the University of Melbourne Beattie Smith Lecture.

Brian is the Treasurer of the Australian Society for Neuroscience.  He was the Founder and Inaugural President of Biological Psychiatry Australia and has been President of the Melbourne Chapter of the Society of Neuroscience, Treasurer of the CINP, Secretary of the Asian College of Schizophrenia Research and has served on CINP, SIRS and ASPR Committees.  Brian is a Director of the Rebecca Cooper Medical Research Foundation which funds early career researchers in specific areas of medical research.  Brian currently serves on 6 Editorial Boards and provides Ad Hoc Reviewer for 25 Journals.


Professor Ashley Bush (

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