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Principal Investigator

Joe Yip imageDr Joe Yip


Tel +64 3 479 3071
Fax +64 3 479 7254

My research group focuses on the neuronal plasticity induced by reproductive hormones, and how this contributes to reproductive function. Using a wide range of anatomical and functional neuroscience tools in transgenic rodent models, we investigate the neurochemical, morphological and behavioural characteristics of the tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurons relevant to maternal adaptation. We are particularly interested in understanding the mechanism underlying the plasticity of TIDA neurons to alter prolactin secretion especially to allow elevated levels critical for lactation. Recently, we are opening new avenues into studying the role of TIDA neurons in body weight homeostasis, how the TIDA neurons interact with HPA-axis and what is the physiological role of prolactin in new born infant.

We employ various techniques including viral tract tracing, chemogenetics, ex vivo calcium imaging, immunohistochemistry, RNAscope in situ hybridization, ELISA, confocal microscopy

Current and proposed research projects

  • Pregnancy hormones modify the TIDA neuronal network
  • Hyperprolactinemia induced enkephalin expression and release in the maternal brain
  • A new transgenic mouse model of hyperprolactinemia
  • Regulation of body weight by hypothalamic dopaminergic neurons
  • Role of prolactin in response to stress
  • The role of prolactin in infant development

Anatomy researcher profile
Dr Siew Hoong (Joe) Yip Profile – LinkedIn
X @joeyipcne44

Yip Laboratory staff and students

Panagiotis Papaiouannou, PhD student

Paul Cromb, PhD student

Christopher Egnot, honours student

Research funders

  • Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund
  • Neurological Foundation
  • University of Otago Research Grant


Yip, S. H., Boehm, U., Herbison, A. E., & Campbell, R. E. (2015). Conditional viral tract tracing delineates the projections of the distinct kisspeptin neuron populations to gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons in the mouse. Endocrinology, 156(7), 2582-2594. doi: 10.1210/en.2015-1131 Journal - Research Article

Yip, S. H., Eguchi, R., Grattan, D. R., & Bunn, S. J. (2012). Prolactin signalling in the mouse hypothalamus is primarily mediated by signal transducer and activator of transcription factor 5b but not 5a. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 24(12), 1484-1491. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2826.2012.02357.x Journal - Research Article

Romanò, N., Yip, S. H., Hodson, D. J., Guillou, A., Parnaudeau, S., Kirk, S., … Bunn, S. J., Grattan, D. R., … Martin, A. O. (2013). Plasticity of hypothalamic dopamine neurons during lactation results in dissociation of electrical activity and release. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(10), 4424-4433. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.4415-12.2013 Journal - Research Article

Moore, A. M., Prescott, M., Marshall, C. J., Yip, S. H., & Campbell, R. E. (2015). Enhancement of a robust arcuate GABAergic input to gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons in a model of polycystic ovarian syndrome. PNAS, 112(2), 596-601. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1415038112 Journal - Research Article

Brown, R. S. E., Kokay, I. C., Phillipps, H. R., Yip, S. H., Gustafson, P., Wyatt, A., Larsen, C. M., Knowles, P., Ladyman, S. R., LeTissier, P., & Grattan, D. R. (2016). Conditional deletion of the prolactin receptor reveals functional subpopulations of dopamine neurons in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(35), 9173-9185. doi: 10.1523/jneurosci.1471-16.2016 Journal - Research Article

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