Vaughan G Macefieldvaughan.email@example.com
Prof Vaughan Macefield is the Professor of Physiology in the College of Medicine. He obtained his BScHons (1983), PhD (1987) and DSc (2017) from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. He has been engaged in neurophysiological research for 35 years, and has published over 190 papers and reviews and written 15 invited book chapters. Prof Macefield specializes in invasive intraneural recordings in awake human subjects (microneurography), with particular reference to the behaviour of the human sympathetic nervous system in health and disease and the effects of pain on the sympathetic and somatic nervous systems.
Foundation Chair in Integrative Physiology Deputy Dean, Director of Research
School of Medicine Western Sydney University, Sydney NSW 2751, Australia
NHMRC Senior Research Fellow Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney NSW 2031, Australia Conjoint Senior Lecturer – Conjoint Associate Professor
Prince of Wales Clinical School, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
NHMRC Research Fellow Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney NSW 2031,
Australia Conjoint Lecturer School of Physiology & Pharmacology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
NHMRC R Douglas Wright Fellow Senior Research Scientist
Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney NSW 2031, Australia Conjoint Lecturer Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney NSW 2031, Australia
NHMRC CJ Martin Fellow
Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney NSW 2031, Australia
John B Pierce Visiting Assistant Fellow
John B Pierce Laboratory, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06512, USA
Doctor of Philosophy
School of Physiology and Pharmacology, The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
Bachelor of Science, Double Major in Anatomy and Physiology, Honours Class I School of Physiology and Pharmacology,
The University of New South Wales, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia
- 2016-present: Teaching of cardiovascular, respiratory, thermoregulatory, renal, gastrointestinal and muscle physiology, and central, peripheral and autonomic neuroscience, to Year 1-2 medical students
- 2007-2016: Teaching of cardiovascular, respiratory, thermoregulatory and muscle physiology, and central, peripheral and autonomic neuroscience, to Year 1 and Year 2 medical students in the School of Medicine, Western Sydney University.
- 1982-2006 Regular laboratory and tutorial teaching in the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, School of Medical Sciences, University of New South Wales.
Honors and Awards
New South Wales Award
Commonwealth Postgraduate Research Award
NHMRC CJ Martin Travelling
John B Pierce Visiting Assistant Fellow
Yale University, USA
NHMRC RD Wright Fellowship
1996 Sunderland Award ($10,000) from the Ian Potter Foundation Research
Department of Physiology University of Umeå, S-901 87 Umeå Sweden
Membership of Professional Bodies/Associations
- Member, Physiological Society (UK)
- Member, Society for Neurocience (USA)
- Member, Australasian Society for Neuroscience
- Member, American Autonomic Society
Since establishing my first laboratory at Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute in 1994 all of my work has involved recording the firing properties of single nerve fibres and groups of nerve fibres via microelectrodes inserted into the peripheral nerves of awake human subjects. I have used this approach to address fundamental as well as clinically important questions about the human nervous system. Most recently, I have undertaken studies involving functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and developed the technique of concurrent recording of sympathetic nerve activity and fMRI. Since 1996 I have received twelve NHMRC Project Grants, including five as a sole investigator in 1996, 2005 and 2015, and have been a chief investigator of an NHMRC Program Grant that was renewed. With Mikael Sander from Denmark and David Celermajer from Sydney University, I was awarded a National Heart Foundation grant ($120,000) in the 2005 round, and with Elspeth McLachlan, James Brock and Matthew Kiernan was awarded a $1,500,000 Spinal Program Grant from the NSW Ministry of Science and Medical Research. I was a chief investigator on the $3,300,000 NHMRC/ARC Thinking Systems grant, awarded in 2006, to develop autonomous control systems relevant to robotic manipulation. In 2010 I received an ARC Discovery Project grant with Prof Kenny Kwok to understand the induction of motion sickness during slow body displacements, with a new grant that extends this work awarded in 2015, and in 2011 received an ARC Discovery Project grant with Dr Ingvars Birznieks to understand how tactile afferents encode friction. In 2012 Dr Birznieks and I received two NHMRC Project grants, one on assessing the effects of long-lasting pain on the somatic and sympathetic nervous systems and the other on coding of somatosensory information. An exciting development in my research has been the use of functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Since 2002, Luke Henderson (Sydney University) and I have completed several studies on the cortical and subcortical processing of deep and superficial pain, and several dealing with identification of the areas of the brain involved in cardiovascular control. This work received NHMRC Project Grant funding in 2005, 2008, 2011 and 2015. We developed the methodology for concurrent recording of sympathetic nerve activity with fMRI of the brain and are the only group in the world using this approach to identify areas of the brain involved in cardiovascular control in health and disease. We have recently used this approach to identify functional changes in the brain with obstructive sleep apnoea.
Clinical and Community Service
NSW State coordinator of the Australian Brain Bee Challenge since 2006 and National Coordinator since 2015.