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Dr Patrick Hughes

Telephone +61 8 8222 5644
Position Post-doctoral
Fax +61 8 8222 5934
Campus North Terrace
Org Unit Medicine

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Biography/ Background

Dr. Hughes is interested in communication between the nervous and immune system, and particularly how this is relevant for gastrointestinal diseases. He collaborates with clinical gastroenterologists, immunologists and neuroscientists to investigate the effects immune mediators have on sensations from the gut, but also the effects neurotransmittors have on the immune system.


B. Sc. (Hons). PhD

Awards & Achievements

NHMRC Australia Post-Doctoral Training Fellowship (mid 2010-mid 2014)


Invitation to Little Brain Big Brain (restricted to 30 participants worldwide) Sept. 2012, Belgium

Travel Award, Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Nov. 2008. Switzerland

Travel Award, ANS, July 2007, Melbourne, Australia

Young Investigator Award, Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Sept. 2007 Korea.

RAH Medical Staff Society Research Prize. Best oral presentation. 2007.

Best poster award, School of Molecular Bioscience, University of Adelaide, 2006.

Young Investigator Award, Neurogastroenterology and Motility, Sept 2006. Boston

Travel Award, ANS, 2006, Sydney, Australia




Teaching Interests

Multiple projects are available to investigate how the nervous and immune system communicate. Please contact Dr. Hughes if interested in this field.

Research Funding


2013-2015:   NHMRC project grant 1042952 “Immune activation in functional gastrointestinal disorders”. $454,369.21. 2013-2015. CIA (Sole CI).

2010-2014:   NHMRC Biomedical Training Fellowship 614805 “Viscerosensory neuroimmune interactions”. $285,000. 2010-2014. CIA

2011-2013:   NHMRC project grant 1008100 “Ion channels underlying inflammatory and postinflammatory visceral mechanical hypersensitivity” $436,299. 2011-2013. AI


Other competitive funding schemes:

2012:           University of Adelaide Faculty of Health Science New Investigator grant “Immune activation in acute and relapsing colitis”  2012. CIA

2012:           RAH clinical project grant “Immune activation in functional gastrointestinal disorders – a pilot study”  2012 CIA

2011:           Princess Alexandra Hospital Research Foundation and Private Practice Trust Fund. “The role of the gastrointestinal tract microbiota and chronic infections in irritable bowel syndrome” 2011. CIB



Refereed Journal Articles


Hughes PA, Harrington AM, Castro J, Liebregts T, Adam B, Grasby DJ, Issacs NJ, Maldeniya L, Martin CM, Persson J, Andrews JM, Holtmann G, Blackshaw LA, Brierley SM Sensory neuro-immune interactions differ between IBS subtypes. Gut 2012 (accepted 05 June 2012). (Highlighted in Nature Reviews Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Sept. 2012) ERA A*. IF 10.6


Harrington AM, Brierley SM, Isaacs N, Hughes PA, Castro J, Blackshaw LA (2012) Sprouting of colonic afferent central terminals and increased spinal MAP kinase expression in a mouse model of chronic visceral hypersensitivity. J. Comp. Neurol. 520(10):2241-55. ERA A*. IF 3.9


Brierley SM, Castro J, Harrington AM, Hughes PA, Page AJ, Rychkov GY, Blackshaw LA (2011) TRPA1 contributes to specific mechanically activated currents and sensory neuron mechanical hypersensitivity. J. Phys. 589(14):3575-93. ERA A*. IF 4.8


Harrington AM, Hughes PA, Martin CM, Yang J, Castro J, Issacs NJ, Blackshaw LA and Brierley SM (2011) A novel role for TRPM8 in visceral afferent function. Pain 152(7); 1459-68 ERA A. IF 5.35


Brierley SM*, Hughes PA*, Page AJ*, Kwan KY, Martin CM, O’Donnell TA, Cooper NJ, Harrington AM, Adam B, Liebregts T, Holtmann G, Corey DP, Rychkov GY, Blackshaw LA. (2009) The ion channel TRPA1 is required for normal mechanosensation and is modulated by algesic stimuli. Gastroenterology. 137(6);2084-2095. (selected for Faculty of 1000 biology) ERA A* IF 12.03


Hughes PA*, Brierley SM*, Martin CM, Brookes SJH, Linden DR, Blackshaw LA. (2009) Post inflammatory colonic afferent sensitization: different subtypes, different pathways, and different time-courses. Gut. 58(10):1333-41 ERA A* I.F. 10.6


Hughes PA, Brierley SM, Martin CM, Liebregts T, Adam B, Persson J, Holtmann G, Blackshaw LA. (2009) TRPV1-expressing sensory fibres and IBS: links with immune function. Gut. 58(3): 465-456. ERA A* I.F. 10.6


Brierley SM*, Page AJ*, Hughes PA*, Adam B, Liebregts T, Cooper NJ, Holtmann G, Liedtke W, Blackshaw LA. (2008). Selective Role for TRPV4 Ion Channels in Visceral Sensory Pathways. Gastroenterology. 134(7):2059-69. ERA A* IF 12.03


Lindstrom E, Brusberg M, Hughes PA, Martin CM, Brierley SM, Phillis BD, Martinsson R, Abrahamsson C, Larsson H, Martinez V, Blackshaw LA. (2007). Involvement of metabotropic glutamate 5 receptor in visceral pain. Pain. 137(2):295-305. ERA A I.F. 5.35


Page, AJ, Brierley SM, Martin CM, Hughes PA, Blackshaw LA. (2007). Acid sensing ion channels 2 and 3 are required for inhibition of visceral nociceptors by benzamil. Pain 133 (1-3):150-160. ERA A I.F. 5.35


Hughes PA*, Brierley SM*, Young RL and Blackshaw LA. (2007). Localization and comparative analysis of acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC1, 2, and 3) mRNA expression in mouse colonic sensory neurons within thoracolumbar dorsal root ganglia. J. Comp. Neurol. 500(5):863-75. ERA A* I.F. 3.9


Callaghan PD, Farrand K, Salem A, Hughes P, Daws LC and Irvine RJ. (2006) Repeated administration of the substituted amphetamine p-methoxyamphetamine (PMA) produces reductions in cortical 5-HT transporter binding but not 5-HT content, unlike 3,4-methylenedioxyamethamphetamine (MDMA). Eur. J. Pharm. 546(1-3):74-81. ERA B I.F. 2.37


De la Lande I, Stepein J, Philpott A, Hughes PA, Stafford I and Horowitz J (2004) Aldehyde dehydrogenase, nitric oxide synthase and superoxide in ex vivo nitrate tolerance in rat aorta. Eur. J. Pharm. 496(1-3):141-149. ERA B I.F. 2.37





Hughes PA, Zola H, Penttila IA, Blackshaw LA, Andrews JM, Krumbiegel D Immune activation in Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Can neuroimmune interactions explain symptoms? Am. J. Gastro. 2013 (accepted 28 March 2013). ERA A. I.F. 7.2


Brierley SM, Hughes PA, Harrington AM, Rychkov, GY and Blackshaw LA (2010) Identifying the Ion Channels Responsible for Signaling Gastro-Intestinal Based Pain. Pharmaceuticals 3:2768-2798. ERA C. I.F. applied for


Blackshaw LA, Brierley SM, Hughes PA. (2010) TRP channels: new targets for visceral pain. Gut 59(1); 126-135. ERA A* I.F. 10.6


Hughes PA, Blackshaw LA, Brierley SM. (2009) Post inflammatory modification of colonic afferent mechanosensitivity. Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 36(10):1034-40. ERA B I.F. 2.0



Invited Editorials

Blackshaw LA, Brierley SM, Hughes PA, Harrington AM (2011). The hot mustard receptor’s role in gut motor function. Gastroenterology 141(2): 423-7. ERA A* IF 12.03




Blackshaw L.A, Brierley S.M, Harrington A.M, and Hughes PA (2013). TRP channels in visceral pain. In: The Open Pain Journal. 6,Suppl 1:M4; 23-30.


Brierley SM, Hughes PA, Harrington AM, Blackshaw LA (2012) Innervation of the gastrointestinal tract by spinal and vagal afferent nerves. In: L.R. Johnson (Ed) Physiology of the Gastrointestinal Tract, 5th Edition. Academic Press, MO, USA. pg703-732.


Hughes PA, Brierley SM, Castro J, Harrington AM, Blackshaw LA (2012) Experimental Colitis Models. In: A Szallasi & T Biro (Eds.) TRP channels in Drug Discovery, Methods in Pharmacology and Toxicology. Springer/Humana Press. DIO 10.1007/978-1-62703-095-3_23


Entry last updated: Wednesday, 24 Apr 2013

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