About us

Our work is at the forefront of a relatively new research field in human neurophysiology, studies of axonal excitability and its disorders. Measurements of excitability provide information regarding the activity of ion channels, energy-dependent pumps and ion exchange processes activated during impulse conduction. Abnormalities of ion channel function are a major factor in many neurological diseases, including peripheral neuropathy, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Excitability techniques are clinical methods of assessing nerve function, which we apply to patients with neurological disease. Arun Krishnan is a consultant Neurologist at Prince of Wales Hospital and patients are recruited from clinics run at the hospital. In addition to investigating causes of neurological disease, we also conduct clinical trials of new treatments for these conditions, based on the findings of our basic research. Our work is conducted in conjunction with research groups led by Professor Matthew Kiernan at the Prince of Wales Clinical School and Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute and Dr Cindy Lin in the Department of Exercise Physiology at UNSW.


Projects related to this group

  • Development of a novel clinical biomarker for the early detection of diabetic neuropathy
  • Nerve excitability assessment: a novel biomarker for diabetic neuropathy
  • Glucose dysmetabolism and peripheral neuropathy: the development of a novel biomarker.
  • NEU-HORIZONS: The neuroprotection and therapeutic use of riluzole for the prevention of oxaliplatin neurotoxicity study.
  • AUSSPRINT:Australian study of the effects of strict potassium restriction on neuropathy in chronic kidney disease.
  • Effects of pharmacological modification of ion channel activity on the excitability of normal and diabetic nerves - NHMRC Career Development Award
  • A novel strategy for preventing neurological disability due to chronic kidney disease


Collaborators related to this group

We have extensive local, national and international collaborators who are involved in excitability research. Within Prince of Wales Hospital, we have collaborations with the Departments of Renal Medicine (Prof Bruce Pussell), Endocrinology (Dr Ann Poynten), Medical Oncology (Prof David Goldstein and Prof Michael Friedlander) and Rehabilitation Medicine (Dr Pesi Katrak). Our collaborative studies with these departments have focussed on novel methods for diagnosing and treating neurological complications of systemic diseases, including diabetes, renal disease and cancer. Our collaborations also extend to the Central and Western Clinical Schools of the University of Sydney (Professor David Burke and Dr Steve Vucic respectively) and the George Institute for International Heath (Dr Meg Jardine). We also have a long-standing collaboration with Prof Hugh Bostock of the Institute of Neurology, London, the inventor of protocols for nerve excitability testing.

Grants & Funding

  • Brain Foundation
  • Ramaciotti Foundation
  • Royal Australasian College of Physicians
  • Pfizer Neuroscience Grants


  • Ria Arnold (PhD)
  • Natalie Kwai (PhD)
  • Tim Eviston (PhD)