A/Prof. Alan Brichta
|Work Phone||(02) 4921 7026|
|Fax||(02) 4921 7812|
School of Biomedical Sciences and Pharmacy
The University of Newcastle, Australia
|Office||MS309A, Medical Sciences|
Alan Brichta is a neurobiologist with research interests in the anatomy and physiology of peripheral and central vestibular system. In particular, his studies have focused on vestibular hair cells and their associated primary afferents and has recently developed an isolated preparation of the mouse inner ear to study these unusual cellular components. This approach allows stable, high-resolution, intracellular recordings whilst the tissue undergoes near 'natural' (mechanical), rather than artificial (electrical) stimulation. Results from these studies are helping us understand the cellular mechanisms underlying normal and abnormal function associated with the peripheral vestibular apparatus. In addition, Dr. Brichta is studying vestibular nucleus neurons in the brainstem that are the major recipients of transmitted vestibular organ output. These regions are thought to be highly modifiable and may prove to be ideal targets for rational therapeutic strategies aimed at treating balance disorders. Dr. Brichta was recently awarded a prestigious five year Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation Senior/Principal Research Fellowship.
- PhD, Ohio University - USA
- Bachelor of Science (Anatomy), University of New South Wales
- Spinal Cord
- Vestibular system
Vestibular electrophysiological and anatomical techniques, including whole-cell patch-clamp recordings together with intracellular labelling. Experience with in vivo and in vitro preparations.
Awarded major nationally competitive grants: NHMRC Project Grant (2006 08) The neural basis of vestibular compensation; Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation Project Grant (2006 08) Cellular mechanisms underlying activity in the peripheral vestibular organs; NHMRC Project Grant (2006 08) Descending control of pain pathways; ARC Discovery Grant (2005 07) Investigation of a brain rhythm. Also developed two new methodologies for recording activity in neurons (one in vivo and one in vitro).
Invited speaker at the International Barany Society Meeting, Orcas Island, Washington State, USA (2002) and the national Frontiers in Otolaryngology 2006 conference, Sanctuary Cove, Queensland.
Fields of Research
|170299||Cognitive Science Not Elsewhere Classified||15|
Centres and Groups
- Hunter Medical Research Institute
- PRC - Priority Research Centre for Translational Neuroscience and Mental Health (CTNMH)
- Grant review Panel
Developments in isolated inner ear preparations
Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Foundation, Australia (Conference Presentation - non published.)
Transduction in vestibular sense organs
The Australian Health and Medical Research Congress, Australia (Conference Presentation - non published.)
Vestibular Influences on Movement
International B¿r¿ny Society, United States (Conference Presentation - non published.)
Former member of Academic Senate and Faculty Board during a period of major change in teaching and learning at the University. Attracted significant equipment funding to the EM /X-Ray Unit by successfully applying for ARC-LEIF grant. Submission of Anatomy discipline Roadmap for Medical School Accreditation Committee. Contributed to the development of the new Bachelor of Podiatry Program. Provided Biomedical Science input with regard to course provisions and assessment of background course pre-requisites. Member of Faculty Library Committee during a difficult fiscal period that resulted in significant cuts in printed journal subscriptions. Member of NHMRC Grant Review Panel. External Ph.D. Examiner of Ph.D candidates.
Teaching expertise in anatomy, neuroanatomy, and neurosicence. Major
reorganisation of core anatomy courses in 2005 to B. Medicine, B.
Biomed Sci, B. Health Sciences, including Medical Radiation Science,
Physiotherapy, Oral Health, and B. Speech Pathology. Developed three
new specialist subjects: Oral Health, Speech Pathology, and Neural
Visceral Anatomy. Re-designed second semester Neuroanatomy block
for Medicine. Course co-ordinator for first semester MEDI 2012 Medical
Sciences. Attended U Queensland The teaching of anatomical
sciences into health professions Seminar. Hosted the Universitys first
US Fulbright Scholarr. Instigated the first use of video-lecturing with
- Course Co-ordinator, Anatomy for Speech Pathology and Oral Health
- Module Co-ordinator Medicine 2nd year - Neurology / Neuroanatomy
- Human Bioscience, 2nd and 3rd year B. Biomedical Sciences program
- Neural and Visceral Anatomy for Physiotherapy II and Medical Radiation Science II