Dr. Lindsay Parker


My key research interest has always been to improve our understanding of neural circuitry, neuronal gene expression and neuronal behavior during brain disease and cancer. I completed a PhD in Advanced Medicine in 2014, researching the neurochemistry of the stress response, focusing heavily on understanding cardiovascular related circuitry. I have long held a personal interest in researching cardiovascular disease as I was diagnosed in my teens with an inherited neurogenic cardiovascular disorder and my father died at a young age from cardiovascular disease. My academic experience and research training have provided me the opportunity to understand, in depth, cardiovascular disease progression and the effects of multiple other types of physiological stressors at the systems and cellular levels in the central and peripheral nervous systems.

A 2018 Australian Research Council DECRA Fellow, I currently have 23 peer reviewed publications and an h-index of 10. I am now researching sugar receptor expression in the central nervous system during chronic pain and brain cancer in order to develop new nanotechnology based assays for targeting and measuring affected brain cells. My research will accelerate the development of precision medicine for treating brain disorders, allowing us to treat and measure affected cells more accurately.

As an undergraduate student at the University of California Santa Barbara and then Michigan State University, I was highly interested in understanding how stress hormones affect the brain to produce behavioral outcomes in animals and humans. I completed a Bachelor of Science degree in 2006 in Psychology at Michigan State University. I then worked for two years under Professors David Kreulen and Gregory Fink examining molecular changes in autonomic ganglia during hypertension at Michigan State University. I completed my graduate research with Associate Professor Ann Goodchild understanding molecular mechanisms that contribute to hypertension, hypotension, hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. Specifically, I used cholera toxin B neuronal tracing in combination with in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry for neurochemical markers. During the next two years as a post doc I continued researching hypothalamic pituitary axis responses to physiological stressors including describing hyperglycemic responses to common medications prescribed for the treatment of hypertension.

I additionally have collaborated on a number of studies looking at molecular mechanisms involved in the development and extinction of methamphetamine addiction as well as neurochemical identification of circuits regulating brainstem respiratory responses.

My 3 year appointment as a Research Fellow at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics enabled me to facilitate multidisciplinary approaches for studying biological challenges by using innovative technologies to enhance imaging capabilities- making nanoparticles and advanced microscopy techniques understandable and accessible to neuroscientists and other biologists. This includes integrating the latest advancements from the fields of microfluidics, biophysics, materials chemistry and photonics to help neuroscientists solve common challenges presented when imaging brain and spinal cord tissues.

Feb 2018-                     ARC DECRA Fellow (Macquarie University), 1.0 FTE

Feb 2015-Feb 2018:      Research Fellow (Macquarie University), 1.0 FTE

Aug 2014-Dec 2014:     Senior Research Officer Microscopy (Macquarie University), 0.4 FTE

Jul 2013-Dec 2014:       Tutor and Practical Demonstrator (Macquarie University), 0.1-0.4 FTE

Mar 2013-Jan 2015:      Senior Research Associate (Macquarie University), 0.6 FTE

Jun 2006-Jul 2008:        Lab Manager/Research Assistant (Michigan State University), 1.0 FTE

Teaching Experience:



PACE Unit project supervisor 03/2017 11/2017 Professional Learning in a Connected World (MEDI308)

2 students undergraduate level

Macquarie University Niree Kraushaar
Guest Lecture/Hands on Prac Course 05/2016 present Laboratory Skills for Molecular Science Research (CBMS 785)

2-8 students per year Masters level

Macquarie University A/Prof Bridgett Mabbutt
Guest Lecturer 10/2015 present Biochemistry and Cell Biology (CBMS 337)

>50 students per year undergraduate level

Macquarie University Dr Abidali Mohamedali/ Dr Paul Jaschke
Guest Lecturer 09/2015 present Molecular and Medical Biotechnology (CBMS 331/731/880)

>20 students per year undergraduate and Masters level

Macquarie University Prof Helena Nevalainen
Demonstrator 07/2014 12/2015 Systems Physiology (BIOL 247)

>50 students per year undergraduate level

Macquarie University Dr Julia Raftos
Tutor and Practical Demonstrator 03/2014 07/2014 Neurophysiology (BIOL 257)

>50 students undergraduate level

Macquarie University Dr Darko Spirovski
Tutor and Practical Demonstrator 07/2013 11/2013 Biopsychology (PSY 236)

>50 students undergraduate level

Macquarie University A/Prof Jen Cornish


(2005-2006) Michigan State University Dean’s list

(2008-2012) Awarded Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship

(2011) Awarded Macquarie Postgraduate Research Fund Scholarship for international conference travel

(2013) Awarded Macquarie ASAM Dean’s Publication of the Month

(2013) Ph.D. thesis awarded unanimously with no corrections

(2014) Appointed head of Macquarie ASAM biomedical imaging microscopy unit (managing/training 100+ biomedical staff)

(2014) Multiple microscopy photos featured on International Society of Autonomic Neuroscience website (http://www.isanweb.org/ISAN/index.html)

(2014) Integral in obtaining Macquarie MQSIS infrastructure grant >$450,000 funding to purchase Zeiss LSM 880 confocal

(2015) Awarded research fellowship by ARC Centre for Nanoscale Biophotonics

(2015) Cover image selected for Journal of Comparative Neurology (May 2016 issue)

(2015-present) Chair member and organizer of Interdisciplinary Macquarie Biofocus Conference

(2015-present) Organizing committee member of Macquarie CBMS department seminar series

(2015-present) Student outreach and live science demos (Years 5-11)

(February 2016) Invited speaker at University of Colorado Boulder

Professional Memberships:

2007-2009         Michigan Society for Neuroscience

2007-2009         High Blood Pressure Research Counsel Australia

2007-2009         International Society of Hypertension

2009-present     Society for Neuroscience

2009-present     American Physiological Society

2010-present     The American Society for Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

2015-present     SPIE Society for Optics and Photonics Technology

I have significant experience in the following techniques:

Making laboratory solutions

Primer design for PCR and in situ hybridisation (for mRNA and pre-RNA)

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR), reverse transcription (RT)-PCR and real time quantitative PCR

RNA isolation from tissue

In vitro cRNA transcription and in situ hybridisation

Fluorescent immunohistochemistry

Fluorescent microscopy using Zeiss Z1 and Z2 axioimaging hardware

High performance liquid chromatography (HPLC)

Western Blotting

Anaesthetics, injections and laboratory animal handling

Animal transcardial perfusion

Recovery microinjection surgery on rodents and pain management

Ethical application writing

Manuscript and thesis writing

Revision of manuscripts and grant applications

I have experience using the following software in both Windows and Mac interfaces:

Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint (2007, 2010)

Graphpad Prism statistical analysis package (v 5 and 6)

Zeiss Axiovision and Zen 2012 Pro (microscope imaging and analysis software)

Stratagene MXPro (Real time PCR software)

FinchTV (gene sequencing analysis software)

NCBI and Santa Cruz gene database search

Primer 3 (PCR primer design)

NCBI BLAST (gene analysis software)

Corel Draw (v X4 and X5) and Photoshop (CS3, CS4)


VPN access

Endnote X5 and X6 (citation manager)