Professor Dave Grattan

Assoc. Prof. Dave Grattan
University Position



Department of Anatomy Tel 64 3 479 7442 Fax 64 3 479 7254 Email


My group is interested in the neuroendocrine functions of the hormone prolactin, and in particular, the role of prolactin in the neuroendocrine and neurobiological adaptations of the maternal brain. Specific interests include the control of appetite and body weight during pregnancy and obesity, plasticity in oxytocin neurons during late pregnancy and lactation, and role of prolactin in changes in mood and behaviour in the post partum period.

Clinical conditions

hyperprolactinaemia, infertility, post-partum anxiety, post-partum depression

Technical expertise

Neuroanatomy, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridisation, neurochemistry, radioimmunoassay, signal transduction


Dave obtained a Ph.D. in Physiology in 1991 from Victoria University of Wellington (New Zealand), then held a Post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (Baltimore, MD, USA), before returning to New Zealand to take up a Lecturer position in the Department of Anatomy at the University of Otago in 1995. He was promoted to Professor in 2009, and became the Head of this Department in 2011. He has published over 100 original research articles, invited reviews and book chapters, in the fields of Endocrinology and Neuroscience (H-index of 39). He has also presented over 20 invited lectures at international meetings, and won a number of prizes, including the Triennial Medal of the Physiological Society of New Zealand (2005), the Mortyn Jones Medal of the British Society for Neuroendocrinology (2009), Nancy Sirett Lecturer of the New Zealand Society of Endocrinology (2011), and the Distinguished Investigator of the Year for the Otago School of Medical Sciences (2011). From 2009-2013 he was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuroendocrinology (Impact factor 3.5), and he also chaired the organising committee for the 8th International Congress of Neuroendocrinology in Sydney, Australia, 2014. From 2014, he is a Management Principle Investigator for the Maurice Wilkins Centre, a National Centre for Research Excellence.

Laboratory Staff
Research Fellow

Dr Ilona Kokay

Dr Sharon Ladyman

Dr Rosie Brown

Dr Hollian Phillips

Dr Papi Gustafson

Research Tech/ARF

Pene Knowles

Zin Khant Aung

Masters Student

Kirsten Carter

Mohinder Kaplish

Undergraduate Student

Regina Lien

Centre for Neuroendocrinology Centre for Neuroendocrinology University of Otago