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Lab personnel

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Research interests

Our research group principally uses electrophysiology and immunohistochemistry to determine how the brain controls birth, lactation, and cardiovascular function. Our main focus is on how oxytocin and vasopressin contribute to preterm labour, high blood pressure and heart problems..


Oxytocin, vasopressin, hypothalamus, dehydration, hypertension.

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  • Hypothalamic regulation of reproductive and cardiovascular function

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Current funding

  • 2014–2019: Health Research Council of New Zealand: Healthy pregnancies, healthy babies

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Previous funding

  • 2013–2016: Health Research Council of New Zealand: Central regulation of natural birth process
  • 2010–2014: Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden Fund: Hormonal regulation of bodyweight in reproduction
  • 2010–2013: Health Research Council of New Zealand: Kisspeptin-oxytocin regulation of pregnancy: implications for preterm delivery
  • 2008: New Zealand Lottery Grants Board: Neural-hormonal communication in the brain
  • 2006–2008: New Zealand Lottery Grants Board: Mechanisms of plasticity in vasopressin cell activity during dehydration
  • 2003–2006: Wellcome Trust: Cellular mechanisms underlying neuronal excitability during morphine withdrawal
  • 2000–2003: Wellcome Trust Fellowship: Investigation of dendritic regulation of activity by endogenous kappa-opioid peptides in the neurohypophysial system

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  • Charles Bourque, McGill University, Canada
  • David Grattan, University of Otago, New Zealand
  • Gareth Leng, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Mike Ludwig, University of Edinburgh, UK
  • Javier Stern, Medical College of Georgia, USA

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  • HUBS 191
  • PHSL 231
  • PHSL 251
  • PHSL 342
  • PHSL 472
  • PHSL 474

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Selected publications

Perkinson, M. R., Kirchner, M. K., Zhang, M., Augustine, R. A., Stern, J. E., & Brown, C. H. (2022). α-Melanocyte-stimulating hormone inhibition of oxytocin neurons switches to excitation in late pregnancy and lactation. Physiological Reports, 10, e15226. doi: 10.14814/phy2.15226

Vijayasekaran, S., Bird, P., Brown, C., Garland, R., & Ten Cate, W. (2022, February). Paediatric otology management controversies. Panel discussion at the New Zealand Society of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery (NZSOHNS) 74th Annual General & Scientific Meeting (ORL 21), Taupō, New Zealand.

Abbasi, M., Perkinson, M. R., Seymour, A. J., Piet, R., Campbell, R. E., Iremonger, K. J., & Brown, C. H. (2022). Local kisspeptin excitation of rat oxytocin neurones in late pregnancy. Journal of Physiology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1113/jp282531

Roy, R. K., Althammer, F., Seymour, A. J., Du, W., Biancardi, V. C., Hamm, J. P., … Brown, C. H., & Stern, J. E. (2021). Inverse neurovascular coupling contributes to positive feedback excitation of vasopressin neurons during a systemic homeostatic challenge. Cell Reports, 37(5), 109925. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109925

Sethi, S., Augustine, R. A., Bouwer, G. T., Perkinson, M. R., Cheong, I., Bussey, C. T., Schwenke, D. O., Brown, C. H., & Lamberts, R. R. (2021). Increased neuronal activation in sympathoregulatory regions of the brain and spinal cord in type 2 diabetic rats. Journal of Neuroendocrinology. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1111/jne.13016

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