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Health Sciences profile

Professor Helen Nicholson

PositionProfessor and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (External Engagement)
DepartmentDepartment of Anatomy
QualificationsBSc(Hons) MB CHB MD(Brist)
Research summaryMale reproductive biology

Research

The paracrine control of reproductive processes in the male, in particular the regulation of prostate growth in health and disease. Clinical anatomy and medical education.

Prostate disease is common and affects many men as they grow older. Prostate cancer is now one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in men and benign enlargement of the prostate affects ~ 50% of men over the age of 60 causing difficulty in passing urine. The group is investigating the regulation of prostate growth, in both health and disease, using both animal models and in vitro studies of human cells and tissues. Current studies relate to the role of the hormone oxytocin and members of the TGFß family in regulating prostate cell growth and the use of the possum as a novel model for studying prostate growth and regression.

Professor Nicholson also has research interests in the area of clinical anatomy.

Publications

Ottley, E. C., Reader, K. L., Lee, K., Marino, F. E., Nicholson, H. D., Risbridger, G. P., & Gold, E. (2017). Over-expression of activin-βC is associated with murine and human prostate disease. Hormones & Cancer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12672-017-0283-8

Kennedy, E., Albert, M., & Nicholson, H. (2017). The fascicular anatomy and peak force capabilities of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Surgical & Radiologic Anatomy, 39(6), 629-645. doi: 10.1007/s00276-016-1768-9

Perumal, V., Woodley, S. J., & Nicholson, H. D. (2017). The morphology and morphometry of the fovea capitis femoris. Surgical & Radiologic Anatomy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00276-016-1810-y

Croxford, K. P., Reader, K. L., & Nicholson, H. D. (2017). The potential role of transforming growth factor beta family ligand interactions in prostate cancer. AIMS Molecular Science, 4(1), 41-61. doi: 10.3934/molsci.2017.1.41

Kennedy, M. S., Nicholson, H. D., & Woodley, S. J. (2017). Clinical anatomy of the subacromial and related shoulder bursae: A review of the literature. Clinical Anatomy, 30(2), 213-226. doi: 10.1002/ca.22823

Chapter in Book - Research

Kieser, J., Whittle, K., Wong, B., Waddell, J. N., Ichim, I., Swain, M., … Nicholson, H. (2008). Understanding craniofacial blunt force injury: A biomechanical perspective. In M. Tsokos (Ed.), Forensic pathology reviews (Vol. 5). (pp. 39-51). Totowa, NJ, USA: Humana Press. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-110-9_3

Nicholson, H. D., & Mirfin, K. (2001). Oxytocin increases activity of both isoforms of 5 alpha-reductase in the mouse epididymis. In B. Robaire, H. Chemes & C. Morales (Eds.), Andrology in the 21st Century: Proceedings of the 7th International Congress of Andrology. (pp. 229-233). Canada: Medimond Medical Publications.

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Chapter in Book - Other

Nicholson, H., & Assinder, S. (2009). Male gametogenesis. In S. Fleming & S. Cooke (Eds.), Textbook of assisted reproduction for scientists in reproductive technology. (pp. 3-29). Freemantle, Australia: Vivid Publishing.

Nicholson, H. D., & Assinder, S. J. (2007). Physiology of the prostate. In F. R. Kandeel (Ed.), Male reproductive dysfunction: Pathophysiology and treatment. (pp. 81-91). New York: Informa Healthcare USA.

Assinder, S. J., & Nicholson, H. D. (2007). Prostate disease: Prostate hyperplasia, prostate cancer, and prostatitis. In F. R. Kandeel (Ed.), Male reproductive dysfunction: Pathophysiology and treatment. (pp. 499-518). New York: Informa Healthcare USA.

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Journal - Research Article

Ottley, E. C., Reader, K. L., Lee, K., Marino, F. E., Nicholson, H. D., Risbridger, G. P., & Gold, E. (2017). Over-expression of activin-βC is associated with murine and human prostate disease. Hormones & Cancer. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s12672-017-0283-8

Croxford, K. P., Reader, K. L., & Nicholson, H. D. (2017). The potential role of transforming growth factor beta family ligand interactions in prostate cancer. AIMS Molecular Science, 4(1), 41-61. doi: 10.3934/molsci.2017.1.41

Perumal, V., Woodley, S. J., & Nicholson, H. D. (2017). The morphology and morphometry of the fovea capitis femoris. Surgical & Radiologic Anatomy. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s00276-016-1810-y

Kennedy, E., Albert, M., & Nicholson, H. (2017). The fascicular anatomy and peak force capabilities of the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Surgical & Radiologic Anatomy, 39(6), 629-645. doi: 10.1007/s00276-016-1768-9

Flack, N. A. M. S., & Nicholson, H. D. (2016). Historical perspective: Anatomy down the ages in Australasia; lessons for the future. Clinical Anatomy, 29(1), 4-10. doi: 10.1002/ca.22640

Bai, M., Nicholson, H., & Smith-Han, K. (2016). Medical students’ experiences of practising medical procedures on patients, other students and themselves. New Zealand Medical Journal, 129(1444), 43-57. Retrieved from http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal

Perumal, V., Woodley, S. J., & Nicholson, H. D. (2016). Ligament of the head of femur: A comprehensive review of its anatomy, embryology, and potential function. Clinical Anatomy, 29(2), 247-255. doi: 10.1002/ca.22660

Ottley, E. C., Nicholson, H. D., & Gold, E. J. (2016). Activin A regulates microRNAs and gene expression in LNCaP cells. Prostate, 76(11), 951-963. doi: 10.1002/pros.23184

Smith-Han, K., Martyn, H., Barrett, A., & Nicholson, H. (2016). "That's not what you expect to do as a doctor, you know, you don't expect your patients to die." Death as a learning experience for undergraduate medical students. BMC Medical Education, 16(1), 108. doi: 10.1186/s12909-016-0631-3

McLean, A. J., Bond, C. H., & Nicholson, H. D. (2015). An anatomy of feedback: A phenomenographic investigation of undergraduate students' conceptions of feedback. Studies in Higher Education, 40(5), 921-932. doi: 10.1080/03075079.2013.855718

Low, J.-Y., & Nicholson, H. D. (2015). Epigenetic modifications of caveolae associated proteins in health and disease. BMC Genetics, 16, 71. doi: 10.1186/s12863-015-0231-y

Flack, N. A. M. S., Nicholson, H. D., & Woodley, S. J. (2014). The anatomy of the hip abductor muscles. Clinical Anatomy, 27(2), 241-253. doi: 10.1002/ca.22248

Martyn, H., Barrett, A., & Nicholson, H. D. (2014). A belief in the soul may contribute to the stress experienced in the dissecting room. Journal of Anatomy, 224(3), 345-351. doi: 10.1111/joa.12122

Low, J.-Y., & Nicholson, H. D. (2014). Emerging role of polymerase-1 and transcript release factor (PTRF/ Cavin-1) in health and disease. Cell & Tissue Research, 357(3), 505-513. doi: 10.1007/s00441-014-1964-z

Ivell, R., Heng, K., Nicholson, H., & Anand-Ivell, R. (2013). Brief maternal exposure of rats to the xenobiotics dibutyl phthalate or diethylstilbestrol alters adult-type Leydig cell development in male offspring. Asian Journal of Andrology, 15(2), 261-268. doi: 10.1038/aja.2012.138

Martyn, H., Barrett, A., & Nicholson, H. D. (2013). Medical students' understanding of the concept of a soul. Anatomical Sciences Education, 6(6), 410-414. doi: 10.1002/ase.1372

Martyn, H., Barrett, A., Broughton, J., Trotman, P., & Nicholson, H. D. (2013). Exploring a medical rite of passage: A clearing of the way ceremony for the dissection room. Focus on Health Professional Education, 15(1), 43-53.

Flack, N. A. M. S., Nicholson, H. D., & Woodley, S. J. (2012). A review of the anatomy of the hip abductor muscles, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus, and tensor fascia lata. Clinical Anatomy, 25(6), 697-708. doi: 10.1002/ca.22004

Martyn, H., Barrett, A., Trotman, P., & Nicholson, H. (2012). Medical students' responses to the dissection of the heart and brain: A dialogue on the seat of the soul. Clinical Anatomy, 25, 407-413. doi: 10.1002/ca.21219

Sole, G., Milosavljevic, S., Nicholson, H., & Sullivan, S. J. (2012). Altered muscle activation following hamstring injuries. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 46(2), 118-123. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.2010.079343

Flack, N. A. M. S., Meikle, G. R., Reddy, M., Nicholson, H. D., & Woodley, S. J. (2012). Hip abductor muscle volume in women with lateral hip pain: A case-controlled study. Surgical & Radiologic Anatomy, 34(9), 847-855. doi: 10.1007/s00276-012-0970-7

Sole, G., Milosavljevic, S., Nicholson, H., & Sullivan, S. J. (2011). Selective strength loss and decreased muscle activity in hamstring injury. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 41(5), 354-363. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2011.3268

Martyn, H., Pugazhenthi, K., Gould, M., Fink, J. W., McLeod, B., & Nicholson, H. D. (2011). Seasonal changes in morphology and steroid receptor expression in the prostate of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula): An animal model for the study of prostate growth? Reproduction, Fertility & Development, 23(5), 702-713. doi: 10.1071/RD10158

Chapple, C. M., Nicholson, H., Baxter, G. D., & Abbott, J. H. (2011). Patient characteristics that predict progression of knee osteoarthritis: A systematic review of prognostic studies. Arthritis Care & Research, 63(8), 1115-1125. doi: 10.1002/acr.20492

Gould, M. L., Williams, G., & Nicholson, H. D. (2010). Changes in caveolae, caveolin, and polymerase 1 and transcript release factor (PTRF) expression in prostate cancer progression. Prostate, 70(15), 1609-1621. doi: 10.1002/pros.21195

McGrath, C., Nicholson, H., & Hurst, P. (2009). Le long ligament sacro-iliaque postérieur: étude histologique de ses rapports dans la région sacro-iliaque postérieure [The long posterior sacroiliac ligament: An histological study of morphological relations in the posterior sacroiliac region]. Revue du Rhumatisme, 76(1), 62-66. doi: 10.1016/j.rhum.2008.02.022

McGrath, C., Nicholson, H., & Hurst, P. (2009). The long posterior sacroiliac ligament: A histological study of morphological relations in the posterior sacroiliac region. Joint Bone Spine, 76(1), 57-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jbspin.2008.02.015

Woodley, S. J., Nicholson, H. D., Livingstone, V., Doyle, T. C., Meikle, G. R., Macintosh, J. E., & Mercer, S. R. (2008). Lateral hip pain: Findings from magnetic resonance imaging and clinical examination. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 38(6), 313-328. doi: 10.2519/jospt.2008.2685

Sole, G., Milosavljevic, S., Sullivan, S. J., & Nicholson, H. (2008). Running-related hamstring injuries: A neuromuscular approach. Physical Therapy Reviews, 13(2), 102-110. doi: 10.1179/174328808X252046

Woodley, S. J., Mercer, S. R., & Nicholson, H. D. (2008). Morphology of the bursae associated with the greater trochanter of the femur. Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (Am), 90(2), 284-294. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.G.00257

Sole, G., Hamrén, J., Milosavljevic, S., Nicholson, H., & Sullivan, S. J. (2007). Test-retest reliability of isokinetic knee extension and flexion. Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 88, 626-631.

Whittington, K., Connors, B., King, K., Assinder, S., Hogarth, K., & Nicholson, H. (2007). The effect of oxytocin on cell proliferation in the human prostate is modulated by gonadal steroids: Implications for benign prostatic hyperplasia and carcinoma of the prostate. Prostate, 67, 1132-1142.

Gould, M. L., Hurst, P. R., & Nicholson, H. D. (2007). The effects of oestrogen receptors α and β on testicular cell number and steroidogenesis in mice. Reproduction, 134, 271-279.

Nicholson, H. D., & Whittington, K. (2007). Oxytocin and the human prostate in health and disease. International Review of Cytology, 263, 253-286. doi: 10.1016/s0074-7696(07)63006-x

Newsham-West, R., Nicholson, H., Walton, M., & Milburn, P. (2007). Long-term morphology of a healing bone-tendon interface: A histological observation in the sheep model. Journal of Anatomy, 210, 318-327.

Nicholson, H. D., Samalia, L., Gould, M., Hurst, P. R., & Woodroffe, M. (2006). A comparison of different embalming fluids on the quality of histological preservation in human cadavers. European Journal of Morphology, 42(4/5), 178-184.

Thackare, H., Nicholson, H. D., & Whittington, K. (2006). Oxytocin: Its role in male reproduction and new potential therapeutic uses. Human Reproduction Update, 12(4), 437-448.

King, K. J., Nicholson, H. D., & Assinder, S. J. (2006). Effect of increasing ratio of estrogen:androgen on proliferation of normal human prostate stromal and epithelial cells, and the malignant cell line LNCaP. Prostate, 66(1), 105-114. doi: 10.1002/pros.20327

Bell, C. J., Nicholson, H., Mulder, R. T., Luty, S. E., & Joyce, P. R. (2006). Plasma oxytocin levels in depression and their correlation with the temperament dimension of reward dependence. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 20(5), 656-660.

Nash, L., Nicholson, H., Lee, A. S. J., Johnson, G. M., & Zhang, M. (2005). Configuration of the connective tissue in the posterior atlanto-occipital interspace. Spine, 30(12), 1359-1366.

Nash, L., Nicholson, H. D., & Zhang, M. (2005). Does the investing layer of the deep cervical fascia exist? Anesthesiology, 103(5), 962-968.

Fink, J. W., McLeod, B. J., Assinder, S. J., Parry, L. J., & Nicholson, H. D. (2005). Seasonal changes in mesotocin and localization of its receptor in the prostate of the brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula). Biology of Reproduction, 72, 470-478.

Whittington, K., Assinder, S., Gould, M., & Nicholson, H. (2004). Oxytocin, oxytocin-associated neurophysin and the oxytocin receptor in the human prostate. Cell & Tissue Research, 318, 375-382.

Assinder, S. J., Johnston, C., King, K., & Nicholson, H. D. (2004). Regulation of 5α-reductase isoforms by oxytocin in the rat ventral prostate. Endocrinology, 145(12), 5767-5773.

Fleming, J. S., Yu, F., McDonald, R. M., Meyers, S. A., Montgomery, G. W., Smith, J. F., & Nicholson, H. D. (2004). Effects of scrotal heating on sperm surface protein PH-20 expression in sheep. Molecular Reproduction & Development, 68, 103-114.

Nash, L. G., Phillips, M. N., Nicholson, H., Barnett, R., & Zhang, M. (2004). Skin ligaments: Regional distribution and variation in morphology. Clinical Anatomy, 17, 287-293.

Assinder, S. J., & Nicholson, H. D. (2004). Effects of steroids on oxytocin secretion by the human prostate in vitro. International Journal of Andrology, 27, 12-18.

Phillips, M. N., Nash, L. G., Barnett, R. J., Nicholson, H. D., & Zhang, M. (2002). The use of confocal microscopy for the examination of E12 sheet plastinated human tissue. Journal of the International Society for Plastination, 17, 12-16.

Assinder, S. J., Rezvani, A., & Nicholson, H. D. (2002). Oxytocin promotes spermiation and sperm transfer in the mouse. International Journal of Andrology, 25, 19-27.

Jones, D. G., Dias, G., Mercer, S. R., Zhang, M., & Nicholson, H. D. (2002). Clinical anatomy research in a research-driven anatomy department. Clinical Anatomy, 15, 228-232.

Edwards, A. D., & Nicholson, H. D. (2001). Demonstrating anatomy and the MRCS examination. Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 83, 294-295.

Whittington, K., Assinder, S. J., Parkinson, T. J., Lapwood, K. R., & Nicholson, H. D. (2001). Function and localization of oxytocin receptors in the reproductive tissue of rams. Reproduction, 122, 317-325.

Assinder, S. J., Carey, M., Parkinson, T. J., & Nicholson, H. D. (2000). Oxytocin and vasopressin expression in the ovine testis and epididymis: Changes with the onset of spermatogenesis. Biology of Reproduction, 63, 448-456.

Edwards, A. D., Morgan, J., & Nicholson, H. D. (2000). Demonstrating Anatomy. British Medical Journal, 320(S2), 7239-7245.

Jenkin, L., & Nicholson, H. D. (1999). Evidence for the regulation of prostatic oxytocin by gonadal steroids in the rat. Journal of Andrology, 20, 80-87.

Nicholson, H. D., Parkinson, T. J., & Lapwood, K. R. (1999). Effects of oxytocin and vasopressin on sperm transport from the cauda epididymis of the sheep. Journal of Reproduction & Fertility, 117, 299-305.

Harris, G. C., & Nicholson, H. D. (1998). Characterisation of the biological effects of neurohypophysial peptides in seminiferous tubules. Journal of Endocrinology, 156, 35-42.

Freeman, B. J. C., Duff, S., Allen, P. E., Nicholson, H. D., & Atkins, R. M. (1998). The extended lateral approach to the hindfoot. Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery (Br), 80, 139-142.

Harris, G. C., & Nicholson, H. D. (1998). Stage related differences of rat seminiferous tubule contractility in vitro and their response to oxytocin. Journal of Endocrinology, 157, 251-257.

Jones, A., Greenwood, S., Edwards, J., McCulloch, A. F., Tobias, J., & Nicholson, H. D. (1998). Using special study modules to develop CAL: An evaluation of student author benefits. Active Learning, 8, 1-6.

Burston, B., McNally, D. S., & Nicholson, H. D. (1998). Determination of a standard site for the measurement of bone mineral density of the human calcaneus. Journal of Anatomy, 193, 449-456.

Frayne, J., & Nicholson, H. D. (1998). Localisation of oxytocin receptors in the human an macaque monkey male reproductive tracts: Evidence for a physiological role of oxytocin in the male. Molecular Human Reproduction, 4, 527-532.

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Journal - Research Other

Kennedy, M. S., Nicholson, H. D., & Woodley, S. J. (2017). Clinical anatomy of the subacromial and related shoulder bursae: A review of the literature. Clinical Anatomy, 30(2), 213-226. doi: 10.1002/ca.22823

McGrath, C., Nicholson, H., & Hurst, P. (2010). Branch blockade of the dorsal sacral rami [Letter to the editor]. Pain Medicine, 11(2), 281-282. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4637.2009.00780.x

Stringer, M. D., & Nicholson, H. D. (2008). Modern models are already being applied [Letter]. BMJ, 337(7674), 832. doi: 10.1136/bmj.a1966

Zhang, M., Nicholson, H. D., & Nash, L. (2006). [Reply to letter to the editor Investing layer of the cervical fascia of the neck may not exist]. Anesthesiology, 104(6), 1344-1345.

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