Biomedical Sciences

Dr Chris Scott

BScAgr (hons 1) Sydney, PhD Monash

Associate Head (Biomedical and Food Sciences) / Senior Lecturer in Applied Biology
Wagga Wagga
Building 288 Room 214

Dr Scott is the Physiology Discipline Group leader as well as the higher degree coordinator for the School.  He is a neuroendocrinologist with a particular interest in the brain control of the hormones of reproduction.  This involves a range of projects related to either the neuroanatomy of the brain circuits controlling reproduction, and to the hormonal control of reproductive processes, using a wide variety of animal species.  His teaching is in human anatomy & physiology, and pathophysiology at foundational and advanced levels, as well as training research students.

Dr Scott joined CSU in 2003.  Prior to that, he was a Senior Research Officer in the Department of Physiology at Monash University, Melbourne.  He gained an Agricultural Science degree from Sydney University in 1988 and a PhD from Monash University in 1993.  Following this he worked as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Illinois in the USA before returning to Melbourne in 1996 as a Peter Doherty Fellow of the NH&MRC.  Subsequently he was awarded an NH&MRC project grant, to look at the sites and mechanisms of action of testicular steroids in the brain of the male sheep.


Teaching philosophy

Physiology is really interesting stuff. The way that all the organs and body systems work together is fascinating. Dr Scott loves learning about it and he loves researching about it and also teaching about it. It is his hope that he can instil the same enthusiasm in his students.

Unfortunately, all his teaching is in 'service' subjects. In other words, he teaches physiology to students studying in a health-related vocational course. Thus, a lot of the students are not especially interested in physiology per se, but see the subject as one that they must get through in order to study the more 'relevant' subjects. For many, their main concern is simply, 'what do I need to know to pass?' With an attitude like that, the students end up with a degree of shallow learning that permits the students to pass (or not) but very little knowledge is retained for when needed in later years, let alone for when needed for their jobs.

He believes that if he can convey a real passion for the material and make it come alive and seem relevant, this will help the students to want to learn more about the subject.  Thus they are more likely to be motivated to put in the time to learn the material and develop their own deep learning.

Someone once said that “people don't care how much you know until they know how much you care”.  These are wise words, and Dr Scott considers that his first priority must be the students and their welfare. If the students thought that he didn't care about them and their learning, then he would just be some eccentric man standing up the front getting excited about hormones! There is no point getting excited about the material that he is teaching if he can't bring the students with him. It is essential that the material is pitched at a level and in a quantity that is manageable. Similarly, he needs to be approachable and genuine so that students can feel able to come to him to discuss issues that affect their learning.  This applies equally to internal and distance education students.  It is important for the DE students to feel that there is a real person on campus who is concerned about them.

Current subjects taught (* subject coordinator)

  • *BMS129 Physiological Sciences 1
  • *BMS130 Physiological Sciences 2
  • *BMS191 Human Bioscience 1
  • BMS192 Human Bioscience 2
  • BMS292 Pathophysiology and pharmacology 2

In 2010, Dr Scott received a Citation from the Australian Learning & Teaching Council.  The synopsis of this citation is shown below:

This application is “For engaging and motivating large classes of professional practise-oriented students in service subjects”.  Dr Scott motivates and enthuses on-campus and distance education students studying physiology using a twofold approach; through his own passion and enthusiasm for the subject material, and through his commitment to caring for the students. Feedback indicates that this is effective in helping the students want to learn.  Techniques to achieve this include the use of e-technologies to create an active on-line environment so students are engaged in a prompt and regular manner.  A range of support and learning structures similarly encourage on-campus students.


Dr Scott’s main research interest is in the area of neuroendocrinology; the interaction between the nervous system & the endocrine system.  He is particularly interested in the sites and mechanisms of action of sex steroids (oestrogens, progestogens and androgens) in the hypothalamus and brainstem as they exert their feedback actions on gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion as well as on other functions of the hypothalamus such as a sexual behaviour and regulation of appetite.  Historically most research has been conducted using sheep, but in recent years the species used has diversified considerably.

The main focus of the laboratory over the last several years has been on two recently discovered neuropeptides called kisspeptin and RF-amide related peptide 3 (RFRP3).  These appear to be fundamental to the control of GnRH secretion and hence brain control of reproduction, through a critical role in integrating a diverse array of information regarding the internal and external environment, relaying such information as sex steroid feedback, nutritional status, body weight, age, season, pheromones and ‘stress’.  Studies are conducted to determine the neuroanatomical basis for these actions as well as whole animal physiological; studies on the actions of these two peptides.

Current Projects:
  • The role of Kisspeptin and RFamide-related peptide 3 (RFRP3) in the regulation of GnRH secretion in horses: We have been using immunohistochemistry to examine the location of kisspeptin and RFRP3 neurons in the hypothalamus of the horse, and the interactions between these and GnRH neurons.  Variation in these interactions across the oestrous cycle and across seasons are also being examined. In addition, we are looking at the effect on kisspeptin infusion on ovulation in the seasonally transitional mare (funded by RIRDC), as well as RFRP3 infusion.  This is being conducted in collaboration with Assoc Scott Norman and Dr Briony McGrath.
  • The role of Kisspeptin & RFRP3 in relaying the negative feedback actions of testosterone in the ram: Kisspeptin stimulates, whileRFRP3 exerts an inhibitory action on GnRH secretion in females, including the ewe, but little is known about the role of RFRP3 in the males.  This work is in collaboration with Dr Jessica Rose, Prof Iain Clarke (Monash), Dr Adam Hamlin (UNE)
  • The role of kisspeptins in the management of ovulation in anoestrous bitches In collaboration with Dr Cyril Perumamthadathil and Assoc Prof Scott Norman (CSU), this research, funded by the Canine Research Foundation, is looking at the action of kisspeptin in the regulation of LH secretion in dogs.  A recent honours student (Vanessa Buchholz) mapped the distribution of GnRH & kisspeptin neurons in the canine hypothalamus.  A recent master student, Michelle Cielesh, has looked at kisspeptin & kisspeptin receptors in the canine ovary.
  • Sex differences in the interactions between kisspeptin & GnRH in neonatal cattle. In collaboration with Dr Allan Gunn and Dr Jessica Rose, we are looking at the expression of kisspeptin and GnRH neurons and their interactions in neonatal cattle.
  • The interactions between kisspeptin & GnRH in tammar wallabies. In collaboration with Dr Rhett McClean (BMS at CSU) & Prof Marilyn Renfree & Prof Geoff Shaw at Melbourne University, this work is looking at localisation of GnRH & kisspeptin producing neurons in the tammar wallaby & the development of this system from birth.
Supervision of Research Students:


  • Suhail Doi, PhD, 2003-2006
  • Scott Johnston,PhD, 2008-2009
  • Briony McGrath, PhD, 2011-2015
  • Joshua Grubb, D Hlth Sci, 2011-2013
  • Syed Haris Omar, PhD, 2011-2015
  • Mohammed Kamran, PhD 2011-2016
  • Jessica Rose PhD 2012-2016
  • Joshua Sherpenhuizen PhD 2017-
  • Jonathan Ramke PhD-2018-
  • Elizabeth Jones D Vet Stud 2018-


  • Valentino da Silva, M Agric, 2003-4
  • Lynette Johnson, M Med Sci (Path), 2004-6
  • Rena Sorensen, M Resp Sci, 2005-7
  • Richard Ramsoomair, M Resp Sci, 2007- 2010
  • Marine Xavier, M Med Sci (Path) 2008- 2012
  • Tom Jarman M Med Sci (Path) 2012-2014
  • Michelle Cielesh M Anim Sci 2013-2014


  • Debra Howells, BSc (Honours) in Physiology, 1997
  • Michael Mariani, BSc (Honours) in Physiology, 2002
  • Daniel Gough, BPharm (Honours) 2005/6
  • Boon Siong Loh, B Biotech-(medical) (honours) 2006
  • Edrei Zahari, B Med Sci (honours) 2008
  • Chloe Setterfield, B App Sci (honours) 2009
  • Eyra Munzner, BPharm (Honours) 2009/10
  • Jessica Rose, B Anim Sci (honours) 2011
  • Vanessa Buchholz B Vet Sci (Honours) 2012/13
  • Carly Liffen B Anim Sci (honours) 2016
  • Camilla Donnelly B Sc (honours)  2019
  • Mikayla Hoad B Sc (honours)  2019

Professional Activities

Administrative responsibilities:

  • Leader, Physiology Discipline Group
  • Member, School Senior Management Group


  • Endocrine Society of Australia
  • International Neuroendocrine Federation


  • Peter Doherty Postdoctoral Fellowship, National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (1996-1999)
  • Australian Postgraduate Research Award (1989-1992)

Peer Review of Grants:

  • National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia
  • Internal CSU grant schemes

Peer review of manuscripts:

I have reviewed manuscripts for the following journals:

  • Animal
  • Animal Reproduction Science
  • Biology of Reproduction
  • European Journal of Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology
  • European Journal of Neuroscience
  • Experimental Biology & Medicine
  • Frontiers in Neuroendocrine Science
  • Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism
  • Journal of Endocrinology
  • Journal of Neuroendocrinology
  • Journal of Reproduction and Fertility
  • Molecular & Cellular Endocrinology
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Reproduction
  • Reproduction, Fertility & Development

I was on the Editorial Advisory Committee of the international journal, Reproduction Fertility & Development (2007-2009).

Selected Publications

Hawken PAR, Smith JT, Jorre de St Jorre T, Esmaili T, Scott CJ, Rodger J, Blache D, Martin GB 2019 Patterns of preoptic-hypothalamic neuronal activation and LH secretion in female sheep following the introduction and withdrawal of novel males 31: 1674-1681  DOI: 10.1071/RD19079

Rietema SE, Hawken PAR, Scott CJ, Lehman MN, Martin GB, Smith JT 2019 The arcuate nucleus kisspeptin response to increased nutrition in rams.   Reproduction, Fertility and Development 31:  1682-1691 DOI: 10.1071/RD19063

CJ Scott, JL Rose, AJ Gunn, BM McGrath 2019 Kisspeptin and the regulation of the reproductive axis in domestic animals. Endocrinology 240: R1-R16 (Invited Review)  DOI: 10.1530/JOE-18-0485

Omar SH, Scott CJ, Hamlin A, Obied HK 2019 Olive Biophenols Reduces Alzheimer’s Pathology in SH-SY5Y Cells and APPswe Mice. International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20: 125  DOI: 10.3390/ijms20010125

Omar SH, Scott CJ, Hamlin A, Obied HK 2018 Biophenols: Enzymes (β-secretase, Cholinesterases, histone deacetylase and tyrosinase) inhibitors from olive (Olea europaea L.).  Fitoterapia 128: 118-129 hDOI: 10.1016/j.fitote.2018.05.011

Cielesh ME, McGrath BM, Scott CJ, Norman ST, Stephen CP 2017 The localisation of kisspeptin and kisspeptin receptor in the canine ovary during different stages of the reproductive cycle.  Reproduction in Domestic Animals 52 (Suppl. 2):24-48 DOI: 10.1111/rda.12841

Omar SH, Kerr PG, Scott CJ, Hamlin A, Obied HK 2017. Olive (Olea europaea L.) biophenols: A nutriceutical against oxidative stress in SH-SY5Y cells.  Molecules 22: 1858 DOI: 10.3390/molecules22111858

Omar SH, Scott CJ, Hamlin A, Obied HK 2017 The protective role of plant biophenols in mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry 47: 1-20

McGrath BM, Scott CJ, Wynn PJ, Loy J, Norman, ST. 2016. Kisspeptin stimulates LH secretion but not ovulation in mares during vernal transition. Theriogenology, 86(6), 1566-1572.

Kamran M, Hamlin AS, Scott CJ, Obeid HK 2015 Drying at high temperature for a short time maximizes the recovery of olive leaf biophenols.  Industrial Crops and Products 78: 29-38

Rose JL, Hamlin AS, Scott CJ 2014 Sex differences in the expression of estrogen receptor-α within noradrenergic neurons in the sheep brainstem.  Domestic Animal Endocrinology 49:6-14

Scott CJ, Clarke IJ, Tilbrook AJ 2008 The effect of testosterone and season on prodynorphin mRNA expression in the preoptic area-hypothalamus of the ram. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 34:440-450

Doi SAR, Al-Zaid M, Towers PA, Scott CJ, Al-Shoumer KAS. 2006 The mechanism of adrenal androgen excess in PCOS. Steroids 71:751-759.

Clarke IJ, Scott CJ, Pereira AM, Pompolo S. 2006 The role of noradrenaline in the generation of the preovulatory LH surge in the ewe. Domestic Animal Endocrinology, 30:260-275

Doi SAR, Al-Zaid M, Towers PA, Scott CJ, Al-Shoumer KAS. 2005 Ovarian steroids modulate neuro-endocrine dysfunction in polycystic ovary syndrome. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 28:882-893.

Doi SAR, Al-Zaid M, Towers PA, Scott CJ, Al-Shoumer KAS. 2005 Irregular cycles and steroid hormones in polycystic ovary syndrome. Human Reproduction. 20:2402-2408.

McCann H, Scott CJ. 2005 The role of oestrogen in cognition and dementia - a review of mechanisms and the effect of oestrogen replacement therapy. Australian Journal of Medical Science. 26:4-11

Doi SAR, Towers PA, Scott CJ, Al-Shoumer KAS 2005 PCOS: an ovarian disorder that leads to dysregulation in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. European Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology and Reproductive Biology. 118:4-16.

Scott CJ, Clarke IJ, Rao A, Tilbrook AJ 2004 Sex differences in the distribution and abundance of androgen receptor (AR) mRNA-containing cells in the hypothalamus of the ram and ewe. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 16:956-963

Keenan DM, Alexander S, Irvine CHG, Clarke IJ, Scott CJ, Turner AI, Tilbrook AJ, Canny BJ, Veldhuis JD 2004 Reconstruction of an in vivo time-evolving neuroendocrine dose-response properties unveils admixed deterministic and stochastic elements. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 101:6740-6745.

Scott CJ, Mariani M, Clarke IJ, Tilbrook AJ 2003 The effect of testosterone and season on proenkephalin mRNA expression in the preoptic area-hypothalamus of the ram. Biology of Reproduction 69:2015-2021.

S Pompolo, A Pereira, CJ Scott, F Fujiyma and IJ Clarke 2003 Evidence for estrogenic regulation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons by glutamatergic neurons in the ewe brain: an immunohistochemical study using an antibody against vesicular glutamate transporter-2. Journal of Comparative Neurology 465:136-144

Scott CJ, Clarke IJ, Tilbrook AJ 2003 Neuronal inputs from the hypothalamus and brainstem to the medial preoptic area of the ram; differences to the ewe and neurochemical correlates. Biology of Reproduction, 68:1119-1133.

Pompolo S, Scott CJ, Clarke IJ 2002 Selective regulation of glutamic acid decarboxylase isoform 65, but not isoform 67, in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis and the preoptic area of the ewe brain across the estrous cycle. Endocrinology 143:544-550

Clarke IJ, Pompolo S, Scott CJ, Rawson JA, Caddy D, Jakubowska AE, Pereira AM 2001 Cells of the arcuate nucleus and ventromedial nucleus of the ovariectomised ewe that respond to estrogen; a study using Fos immunohistochemistry. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 13: 934-941.

Turner AI, Tilbrook AJ, Clarke IJ, Scott CJ 2001 Progesterone and testosterone in combination act in the hypothalamus of castrated rams to regulate the secretion of luteinising hormone. Journal of Endocrinology, 169:291-298.

Scott CJ, Pereira AM, Tilbrook AJ, Rawson JA, Clarke IJ 2001 Changes in preoptic and hypothalamic levels of progesterone receptor (PR) mRNA across the estrous cycle of the ewe. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 13: 401-406.

Rawson JA, Scott CJ, Pereira A, Jakubowska A, Clarke IJ 2001 Noradrenergic projections from the A1 field to the preoptic area in the brain of the ewe and Fos responses to estrogen in the A1 cells. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 13:129-138.

Clarke IJ, Scott CJ, Rao A, Pompolo S, Barker-Gibb ML 2000 Seasonal changes in the expression of neuropeptide Y and pro-opiomelanocortin mRNA in the arcuate nucleus of the ovariectomised ewe; relationship to the seasonal appetite and breeding cycles. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 12:1105-1111.

Scott CJ, Tilbrook AJ, Simmons DM, Chu S, Fuller PJ, Rawson JA, Ing N, Clarke IJ 2000 The distribution of cells containing estrogen receptor-α (ERα) and estrogen receptor-β (ERβ) mRNA in the preoptic area and hypothalamus of the sheep: comparison of males and females. Endocrinology, 141:2951-2962

Scott CJ, Tilbrook AJ, Rawson JA, Clarke IJ 2000 Gonadal steroid receptors in the regulation of GnRH secretion in farm animals. (Review) Animal Reproduction Science, 60-61:313-326.

Scott CJ, Pereira AM, Rawson JA, Simmons DM, Rossmanith WG, Ing NH, Clarke IJ 2000 The distribution of progesterone receptor (PR) immunoreactivity (-ir) and PR mRNA in the preoptic area and hypothalamus of the ewe; up regulation of PR mRNA in the mediobasal hypothalamus by estrogen. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 12:565-575.

Scott CJ, Rawson JA, Pereira AM, Clarke IJ 1999 Estrogen receptors in the brainstem of the female sheep: relationship to noradrenergic cells and cells projecting to the medial preoptic area. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 11:745-755.

Clarke IJ, Scott CJ, Pereira AM, Rawson JA 1999 Levels of dopamine hydroxylase immunoreactivity in the preoptic hypothalamus of ovariectomised ewe following injection of estrogen; evidence that noradrenaline release from A1 neurones occurs at the time of the estrogen-induced surge in luteinising hormone. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 11:503-512.

Ferreira SA, Browning DA, Kuehl DE, Scott CJ, Jackson GL 1998 Effect of infusing γ-aminobutyric acid receptor agonists and antagonists into the medial preoptic area and arcuate-ventromedial region on prolactin secretion in male sheep. Endocrine, 9:303-312.

Clarke IJ, Brown BW, Vang TV, Scott CJ, Millar RP, Rao A 1998 Neonatal immunization against gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) results in diminished GnRH secretion and pituitary insensitivity to GnRH in adulthood. Endocrinology 139:2007-2014.

Scott CJ, Rawson JA, Pereira AM, Clarke IJ 1998 The distribution of estrogen receptors in the brainstem of female sheep. Neuroscience Letters 241:29-32.

Scott CJ, Kuehl DE, Ferreira SA, Jackson GL 1997 Hypothalamic sites of action for testosterone, dihydrotestosterone and estrogen in the regulation of luteinizing hormone secretion in male sheep. Endocrinology 138:3686-3694.

Ferreira SA, Scott CJ, Kuehl DE, Jackson GL 1996 Differential regulation of luteinizing hormone release by g-amino butyric acid receptor subtypes in the arcuate ventromedial region in the male sheep. Endocrinology 137:3453-3460

Hileman SM, Lubbers LS, Petersen SL, Kuehl DE, Scott CJ, Jackson GL 1996 Influence of testosterone on LHRH release, LHRH mRNA and Proopiomelanocortin mRNA in male sheep. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 8:113-121.

Barker-Gibb ML, Scott CJ, Boublik JH, Clarke IJ 1995 The role of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the control of LH secretion in the ewe with respect to season, NPY receptor subtype and the site of action in the hypothalamus. Journal of Endocrinology 147: 565-579.

Scott CJ, Jansen HT, Kao C-C, Kuehl DE, Jackson GL 1995 Disruption of reproductive rhythms and patterns of melatonin and prolactin secretion following bilateral lesions of the suprachiasmatic nuclei in the ewe. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 7:429-444.

Thomas GB, Scott CJ, Cummins JT, Clarke IJ 1994 Adrenergic control of growth hormone secretion in the ewe. Domestic Animal Endocrinology 11:187-195.

Scott CJ, Clarke IJ 1993 Evidence that changes in the regulation of GnRH secretion by preoptic GABA receptors may be involved in the seasonal changes in the negative feedback effects of estrogen on plasma LH levels in the ewe. Endocrinology 133:2904-2912.

Clarke IJ, Scott CJ 1993 Studies on neuronal systems involved in the estrogen-negative feedback effect on GnRH neurons in the ewe. Human Reproduction 8 Suppl. 2:2-6.

Scott CJ, Clarke IJ 1993 Inhibition of LH secretion in ovariectomized ewes during the breeding season by gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is effected by GABAA receptors but not GABAB receptors. Endocrinology 132:1789-1796.

Scott CJ, Cummins JT, Clarke IJ 1992 Effects on plasma luteinizing hormone (LH) levels of microinjection of noradrenaline and adrenaline into the septo-preoptic area of the brain of the ovariectomised ewe; changes with season and chronic oestrogen treatment. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 4:131-141.

Invited Symposium Talks:
  • Gonadal steroid receptors in the regulation of GnRH secretion in domestic animals. 14th International Congress on Animal Reproduction, Stockholm, Sweden 2000, Session Speaker
  • Physiology of responses to photoperiod: role of the suprachiasmatic nucleus.  28th Annual meeting, Australian Society for Reproductive Biology, Canberra, ACT, 1997
Invited seminar presentations:
  • Medical Research Council, Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh 1992
  • Melbourne Neuroscience Discussion Group, Melbourne 1992
  • Reproductive Biology Program, University of Illinois, Urbana, Il, USA 1993
  • Department of Physiology, Monash University, Melbourne 1997
  • The Babraham Institute, Cambridge, England 1997
  • Medical Research Council, Reproductive Biology Unit, Edinburgh 1997
  • Institut National Research Agronomique, Station de Physiologie de la Reproduction, Nouzilly, France 2000
  • Prince Henry's Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne 2001
  • Department of Physiology, Monash University, Melbourne 2001
  • School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University 2003
  • Cell Biology Group, Charles Sturt University 2008
  • EH Graham Centre (CSU & NSW DPI) 2009
  • School of Biomedical Sciences, Charles Sturt University 2010

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