Hoyer Laboratory: Translational Neuroscience

Research Overview

The Translational Neuropharmacology Laboratory is a recently established group in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. We are located in the West Wing on the eighth floor of the Medical Building (B181) on the Parkville Campus.

Prof Hoyer moved to Melbourne at the end of 2012 to become Head and Chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics. Prof Hoyer completed his PhD in Pharmacology at the Université Louis Pasteur Strasbourg in 1981 and conducted his postdoctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania, with his early research focusing on adrenoceptor and serotonin receptor pharmacology. Since then Prof. Hoyer has characterised a large number of peptide receptors, ligand gated-channels, and monoamine receptors. Over 300 publications and 5 patents document his interests in a wide variety of therapeutic targets such as sleep disorders, epilepsy, migraine, schizophrenia, anxiety / depression, bipolar disorders, panic, post-traumatic stress disorder, neurological disorders (PD/MS/ALS/HD/fragile X), irritable bowel syndrome, acromegaly, hypertension, gastroenteropancreatic and other tumours. Prof Hoyer has over 25 years of experience in drug discovery and development in both academia and industry, with positions in pharmaceutical companies such as Sandoz and Novartis or academic Institutions (Scripps San Diego).

Research Interests

The Translational Neuropharmacology Laboratory is currently developing its research program. In the near future we will be commencing projects in the following areas:

  • Neuropeptide and monoamine receptors-ligand interactions in health and disease
  • AMPA receptor orthosteric and allosteric modulators
  • Relaxin family peptide receptor small molecule pharmacological modulators

However, we have a broad range of research interests on which we aim to develop projects in the future.

These include;

  • G protein coupled-receptor biased signalling / pathway selection
  • Mechanisms of action of neuropsychopharmacological agents
  • Molecular mechanisms of neuropeptide release
  • Orexin and 5-HT receptor pharmacology

We have expertise in both neuroscience and pharmacology and members of our group specialise in the following techniques and areas:

  • In vitro pharmacological assays
  • Receptor distribution / target engagement
  • Recombinant adeno-associated viral vector design and production
  • RNAi
  • Models of neurodegeneration
  • In vivo neuroscience techniques including stereotaxic surgery, behavioural testing
  • Sleep EEG
  • Gene expression profiling
  • Proteomics
  • PET and other imaging approaches
  • Radiotherapy
  • Electrophysiology
  • Disease biomarkers

If you are a student or potential collaborator who has common interests in any of the above mentioned research areas or techniques, please don't hesitate to contact Prof Hoyer.

Projects for Honours and PhD

  • Glutamate AMPA receptor antagonists and negative allosteric modulators in epilepsy and other neurological disorders.
  • Assays development for relaxin family peptide receptor High Throughput Screening (HTS) of small molecular pharmacological modulators.


Ms Milly Yim, Research Assistant
Huda Gargoum, PhD Student
Sanjida Mir, Masters Student
Michelle Clark, U21 Student


Associate Professor Ross Bathgate, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
Associate Professor Steven Petrou, Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health

Research Publications

Research Projects

Currently no project details available

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Professor Daniel Hoyer

Department / Centre

Pharmacology and Therapeutics