Biomedical Sciences

Dr Andrew Delaney

BSc, BSc(Hons), PhD, GCEd.

Senior Lecturer in Anatomy and Physiology
Building 1017 Room 101

Dr Andrew Delaney is a senior lecturer based in Orange. After completing his undergraduate studies in organic chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Newcastle, He completed a PhD at the John Curtin School of Medical Research (Australian National University), studying the pharmacology of GABA receptors in the central amygdala using electrophysiological techniques. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Vollum Institute in the US, prior to returning to Australia to accept an ARC Australian Post-doctoral Fellowship at the Queensland Brain Institute. He has been teaching and researching in Neuroscience since 1998 and currently teaches neuroscience, anatomy and physiology, and coordinates the Honours program in the Faculty of Science and Health. His research is currently investigating the regulation of emotional processing by oxytocin, noradrenergic control of synaptic transmission in the amygdala, and neuroplasticity in amygdala circuits in anxiety disorders like PTSD.

Dr Delaney teaches physiology and neuroscience in the clinical sciences subjects for the CSU School of Rural Medicine, and coordinates the Honours subjects for the Faculty of Science and Health. He currently supervises a PhD student and a Masters student at CSU. He completed a Graduate Certificate in Education at The University of Queensland in 2006, completing a teaching research project to increase critical thinking in undergraduate neuroscience courses. He was awarded a University of Queensland Res-teach Fellowship in 2007.

Dr Delaney's primary research focus is the study of neuronal mechanisms in synaptic transmission and plasticity. My research investigates the role of neuromodulation and plasticity in the circuits that mediate pain and emotional processing in the amygdala. He also investigates the cellular mechanisms of neuro-active pharmacology and the electrophysiology and micro neuro-anatomy of the amygdala and its connections with the brainstem and forebrain.

Current Research projects:

The effect of oxytocin on the formation, expression and inhibition of fear memories. (NHMRC project Grant funding) Collaboration with Professor Fred Westbrook (UNSW).

Noradrenergic regulation of central amygdala processing. Collaboration with Dr Nathan Holmes (UNSW).

Activity in the Central pathways of pain in hip Osteoarthritis. Collaboration with Dr JN Powell and Dr Pam Railton (University of Calgary, Canada).

Cognitive Exposure Therapy in the treatment of Autism. Collaboration with Dr James Crane (UTAS) Supervision of PhD candidate Jonathon Ramke with Professor Michael Curtin.

Member of Society for Neuroscience (Australian Chapter)

Member of the Society for Neuroscience (USA).

Editorial Board member Nature Scientific Reports.

Member of the NHMRC Translational Faculty

Nationally Competitive Grants and Fellowships (ARC/NHMRC)
  • 2018-2020 NHMRC project grant (1148249) $348,371- Modeling post-traumatic stress disorder in rats: hypervigilance and spread of fear.
  • 2015-2017 NHMRC project grant (1088489) $378,532 - The effect of oxytocin on the formation, expression and inhibition of fear memories.
  • 2008-2010 NHMRC Project Grant (511052) $345,000 - NMDA receptor function in the amygdala
  • 2005-2007 NHMRC Project Grant (351481)    $399,750 - Excitatory synaptic circuitry and plasticity in the amygdala.
  • 2004-2006 ARC Australian Post-doctoral Fellowship.
  • 2004-2006 ARC Discovery Project Grant (DP0451598)   $255,000 - Characterisation of monoaminergic transmission in central amygdala.
University Competitive Grants/Fellowships
  • 2018 CSU Research Infrastructure Support Scheme, Magritech low field NMR ($160,000)
  • 2015 CSU Research Infrastructure Block Grant $66,000 - The effect of oxytocin on the formation, expression and inhibition of fear memories.
  • 2012 CSU Research Infrastructure Block Grant (RIBG) $150 000 - Looking North: Enhancing Research Capacity on the Northern Campuses
  • 2010 CSU Competitive Research Grant (OPA 4816) $25000 - Central nervous system plasticity during the development of anxiety and depression in response to chronic pain.
  • 2004 University of Queensland, New Staff Start-Up Grant (2004000382) $11,816 - Monoaminergic modulation of calcium signalling in central amygdala.

Career Best Publications

Charles Sturt University publications

J.W. Crane, N.M. Holmes,  J. Fam, R.F. Westbrook, & A.J. Delaney* (2020) Oxytocin increases inhibitory synaptic transmission and blocks development of long-term potentiation in the lateral amygdala. Journal of Neurophysiology. 123, 2, p. 587-599

A.J. Delaney*, J.W. Crane, N.M. Holmes, J. Fam, and R.F. Westbrook. (2018) Baclofen acts in the central amygdala to reduce synaptic transmission and impair context fear conditioning. Scientific Reports 8(1), 9908.

J. Fam, J.W. Crane, A.J. Delaney, R.F. Westbrook, and N.M. Holmes (2018) Oxytocin receptor activation in the basolateral complex of the amygdala enhances discrimination between discrete cues and promotes configural processing of cues. Psychoneuroendocrinology, Volume 84: 84-92.

N.M. Holmes, J.W. Crane, M. Tang, J. Fam, R.F. Westbrook, and A.J. Delaney*, (2017) α2-adrenoceptor-mediated inhibition in the central amygdala blocks fear-conditioning. Scientific Reports. Volume 7(1): 11712.

A.J Delaney* and J.W. Crane (2016) Presynaptic GABAB receptors reduce transmission at parabrachial synapses in the lateral central amygdala by inhibiting N-type calcium channels. Scientific Reports. Volume 6:19255.

T. Bossomaier, A.J. Delaney, J.W. Crane, F. Gobet, M. Harre. The neurological scaling of human expertise. COGNITIVE 2013: The Fifth International Conference on Advanced Cognitive Technologies and Applications. June 2013.  ISBN: 978-1-61208-273-8(refereed conference paper).

Career Best Publications

A.J. Delaney, J.M. Power and P. Sah (2012) Ifenprodil reduces excitatory synaptic transmission by blocking presynaptic P/Q type calcium channels. Journal of Neurophysiology, 107: 1571–1575. (5yIF 3.713) - This paper demonstrated that ifenprodil reduces synaptic release and has had a significant impact on the interpretation of previous findings in the fear conditioning literature. F1000 Prime recommended.

E.S. Louise Faber, A.J. Delaney, J.M. Power, P.L. Sedlak, J.W. Crane and P. Sah, (2008) Modulation of SK channel trafficking by beta adrenoceptors enhances excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity in the amygdala. Journal of Neuroscience, 28: 10803–10813.  (DP0451598) (5yIF 7.915). This Journal of Neuroscience feature-article demonstrated the mechanism of beta-noradrenergic modulation of transmission and plasticity in the amygdala. It was a research highlight in Nature Reviews Neuroscience.

A.J. Delaney, J.M. Crane and P Sah, (2007) Noradrenaline modulates transmission at a central synapse by a presynaptic mechanism. Neuron 56; 880-892. (5yIF 15.71)  (DP0451598). A Neuron feature paper that demonstrated activation of central amygdala by nociceptive input and modulation of this input by endogenous noradrenaline. Reviewed as a research highlight in Nature and Science-STKE.

E.S.L. Faber, A.J. Delaney and P. Sah (2005) SK channels regulate excitatory synaptic transmission and plasticity in the lateral amygdala. Nature Neuroscience 8; 635-641. (5yIF 16.289). A Nature Neuroscience feature paper first demonstrating the role of SK channels in regulating postsynaptic excitability. A F1000 Prime "must read" paper.

A.J. Delaney and C.E. Jahr (2002) Kainate receptors differentially regulate release at two parallel fiber synapses, Neuron 36; 475-82.  (5yIF 15.71). This paper demonstrated presynaptic modulation of release by kainite receptors. Data from this paper has been reproduced in two Nature Reviews Neuroscience Publications.

J.M. Bekkers and A.J. Delaney (2001) Modulation of excitability by {alpha}-dendrotoxin-sensitive potassium channels in neocortical pyramidal neurons, Journal of Neuroscience 21; 6553-6560. (5yIF 7.915). This paper first demonstrated the role of the dendrotoxin-sensitive potassium channels in regulating cortical excitability.

A. J. Delaney and P. Sah (1999) GABA receptors inhibited by 1,4-benzodiazepines mediate fast inhibitory transmission in the central amygdala, Journal of Neuroscience 19; 9698-9704. (5yIF 7.915). This paper identified a pharmacologically distinct GABA receptor subtype that is inhibited by benzodiazepines in a region where these drugs act to produce clinical effects.

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