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Contact Details

+64 3 479 8883
Professor and Vice-Chancellor (Acting)
Department of Anatomy
BSc(Hons) MB CHB MD(Brist)
Research summary
Male reproductive biology


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.


Aravazhi, S., Timmermans, J., Smith-Han, K., Nicholson, H., & Flack, N. (2023, July). Dancing my PhD through the liminal space. Verbal presentation at the Threshold Concepts Conference, Port Macquarie, Australia. Conference Contribution - Verbal presentation and other Conference outputs

Aravazhi, S., Flack, N., Nicholson, H., Smith-Han, K., & Timmermans, J. (2023). Emotions: A curse or boon to learning? Exploring student experiences of learning head and neck anatomy through dissections. Proceedings of the 10th Asia Pacific International Congress of Anatomists (APICA) and the 20th Australian & New Zealand Association of Clinical Anatomists (ANZACA) Conference: Reconnect, Ka Mua, Ka Muri. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Vnuk, A., Smith-Han, K., & Nicholson, H. (2023). Making sense of medical students’ unprofessional behaviours of practising invasive procedures through the lens of the Theory of Planned Behaviour. Proceedings of the Ninth International Clinical Skills Conference. (pp. 89). Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Smith-Han, K., McHugh, J., Trotman, P., & Nicholson, H. (2023). The utility of using a capability approach for health professionals’ wellbeing during a crisis. Proceedings of the Australian & New Zealand Association for Health Professional Educators (ANZAHPE) Festival. 214. Retrieved from Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

Aravazhi, S., Smith-Han, K., Nicholson, H., & Flack, N. (2022). Threshold concepts in anatomy education with a special focus on cadaveric dissection. In M. Anakin, R. Bird, N. Flack, Q. Liu, J. McCallum-Loudeac & T. McLennan (Eds.), Proceedings of the Sciences Education and Health Professions Education Symposium. (pp. 24-25). Dunedin, New Zealand: University of Otago. [Abstract] Conference Contribution - Published proceedings: Abstract

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