Keast & Osborne laboratory: Neural and Bioelectronic Control of Pelvic Organs
Professor Janet Keast & Dr Peregrine Osborne
+61 3 8344 5805 +61 3 9035 9716
Voiding and reproduction are important human functions that require complex neural reflexes to occur at behaviourally appropriate times. The pelvic nervous system is the neural interface used by the brain to exert control over the pelvic organs and genitalia. Our goal is to help develop neuromodulation and other therapies to treat related human clinical conditions, many of which severely compromise quality of life over long periods.
Our expertise in this field is recognised by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) who fund our work as foreign principal investigators in two research consortia
- Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Alleviate Conditions (SPARC) Common Fund Program, which is an initiative of the NIH Office of the Director to accelerate development of bioelectronic medicine.
- GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project (GUDMAP), which is a program funded by the US National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) to provide a fundamental description of the developing kidney and GU tract.
Our research is
- determining how the pelvic nervous system develops
- how it controls complex bodily functions such as voiding or reproduction
- and how it might be manipulated to provide clinical treatments in diverse medical specialties including urology, gastroenterology, sexual medicine, neurology and pain medicine.
Our multidisciplinary approach uses rodent models and human samples to study the development, anatomy, and function of the pelvic nervous system, which comprises
- major subdivisions of the parasympathetic and sympathetic autonomic nervous system
- pelvic somatosensory and visceral sensory systems
- sacral and lumbar spinal cord
- and connectivity with high order brain centres.
We use advanced neuroanatomical, microscopy, image analysis and neural mapping techniques extensively, but are also expert in other approaches including primary cell culture (including co-cultures of adult neurons and urothelial cells), neurophysiology and neuropharmacology.
Dr Alicia Yang, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neuroinformatics and Computational Bioengineering
Dr Adam Blanch, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Microscopy and Anatomy
Dr Calvin Eiber, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Computational Modelling and Neuromodulation
Dr Ilvana Ziko, Research Support Officer, Laboratory Manager
Dr John-Paul Fuller-Jackson, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Microscopy and Neuroanatomy
Dr Nicole Wiedmann, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Microscopy and Neuroanatomy
Assoc Prof Martin Bertrand, University of Nimes, France
Assoc Prof James Fallon, Bionics Institute, University of Melbourne
Dr Jane Girling, University of Otago, New Zealand
Prof Viviana Gradinaru, Caltech
Prof Warren Grill, Duke University
Prof Leif Havton, Icahn School of Medicine and UCLA
Prof Peter Hunter, University of Auckland
Assoc Prof Joseph Ischia, University of Melbourne and Austin Health
Prof Cathy Mendelsohn, Urology, Pathology & Cell Biology, Columbia University
Dr Sophie Payne, Bionics Institute
Prof Michelle Southard-Smith, Cell and Developmental Biology, Vanderbilt University
Dr Doug Strand, University of Texas Southwestern
Dr Alan Watson, University of Pittsburgh
Assoc Prof Chad Vezina, University of Wisconsin – Madison
US National Institutes of Health 2021-2026
National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK); GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project (GUDMAP): Building a multi-scale vascular atlas of the mouse lower urinary tract
US National Institutes of Health 2016-2022
Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions (SPARC) Common Fund Program: 'Foundational Functional Mapping of Neuroanatomy and Neurobiology of Organs'
NCRIS (National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy) 2014-2021
Phenomics Australia: Phenomics Australia Histopathology and Digital Slide Service
US National Institutes of Health 2013-2015
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK); Nociceptive GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project (nGUDMAP): Molecular and spatial mapping of bladder nociceptors during development and maturation'
US National Institutes of Health 2011-2016
National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK); GenitoUrinary Development Molecular Anatomy Project (GUDMAP): 'High resolution mapping of lower urinary tract innervation during development'
This research project is available to PhD students, Masters by Research, Honours students, Master of Biomedical Science, Post Doctor Researchers to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.
- Eiber C, Payne SC, Biscola N, Havton L, Keast JR, Osborne PB, Fallon JB Computational modelling of nerve stimulation and recording with peripheral visceral neural interfaces. J Neural Eng. Accepted 2021.11.05
- Fuller-Jackson JP, Osborne PB, Keast JR. Regional targeting of bladder and urethra afferents in the lumbosacral spinal cord of male and female rats: a multiscale analysis. ENeuro. Accepted 2021.11.03
- Colgrave EM, Keast JR, Bittinger S, Healey M, Rogers PAW, Holdsworth-Carson SJ, Girling JE. Comparing endometriotic lesions with eutopic endometrium: time to shift focus?. Hum Reprod. 2021 Oct 18;36(11):2814-2823. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deab208. PubMed PMID: 34535995.
- Yang CC, Hokanson JA, Keast JR. Advancing our understanding of the neural control of the female human urethra. Neurourol Urodyn. 2021 Oct 4;. doi: 10.1002/nau.24807. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 34605569.
- Colgrave EM, Bittinger S, Healey M, Dior UP, Rogers PAW, Keast JR, Girling JE, Holdsworth-Carson SJ. Reply: The heterogeneity of endometriotic lesions could be explained by their progesterone resistance. Hum Reprod. 2021 Aug 18;36(9):2625-2626. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deab150. PubMed PMID: 34160602.
- Smith-Anttila CJA, Morrison V, Keast JR. Spatiotemporal mapping of sensory and motor innervation of the embryonic and postnatal mouse urinary bladder. Dev Biol. 2021 Aug;476:18-32. doi: 10.1016/j.ydbio.2021.03.008. Epub 2021 Mar 17. PubMed PMID: 33744254.
- Turco AE, Oakes SR, Keil Stietz KP, Dunham CL, Joseph DB, Chathurvedula TS, Girardi NM, Schneider AJ, Gawdzik J, Sheftel CM, Wang P, Wang Z, Bjorling DE, Ricke WA, Tang W, Hernandez LL, Keast JR, Bonev AD, Grimes MD, Strand DW, Tykocki NR, Tanguay RL, Peterson RE, Vezina CM. A mechanism linking perinatal 2,3,7,8 tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin exposure to lower urinary tract dysfunction in adulthood. Dis Model Mech. 2021 Jul 1;14(7). doi: 10.1242/dmm.049068. Epub 2021 Jul 27. PubMed PMID: 34318329; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC8326766.
- Wiedmann NM, Wong AW, Keast JR, Osborne PB. Sex differences in c-Fos and EGR-1/Zif268 activity maps of rat sacral spinal cord following cystometry-induced micturition. J Comp Neurol. 2021 Feb;529(2):311-326. doi: 10.1002/cne.24949. Epub 2020 Jun 11. PubMed PMID: 32415681; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7818477.
- Payne SC, Wiedmann NM, Eiber CD, Wong AW, Senn P, Osborne PB, Keast JR, Fallon JB. Recording of Electrically Evoked Neural Activity and Bladder Pressure Responses in Awake Rats Chronically Implanted With a Pelvic Nerve Array. Front Neurosci. 2020;14:619275. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2020.619275. eCollection 2020. PubMed PMID: 33390899; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7773906.
- Colgrave EM, Bittinger S, Healey M, Dior UP, Rogers PAW, Keast JR, Girling JE, Holdsworth-Carson SJ. Superficial peritoneal endometriotic lesions are histologically diverse and rarely demonstrate menstrual cycle synchronicity with matched eutopic endometrium. Hum Reprod. 2020 Dec 1;35(12):2701-2714. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deaa249. PubMed PMID: 33300558.
- Bertrand MM, Korajkic N, Osborne PB, Keast JR. Functional segregation within the pelvic nerve of male rats: a meso- and microscopic analysis. J Anat. 2020 Oct;237(4):757-773. doi: 10.1111/joa.13221. Epub 2020 Jun 29. PubMed PMID: 32598494; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7495281.
- Eiber CD, Keast JR, Osborne PB. Simulating bidirectional peripheral neural interfaces in EIDORS. Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2020 Jul;2020:2934-2937. doi: 10.1109/EMBC44109.2020.9175921. PubMed PMID: 33018621.
- Bertrand MM, Keast JR. Dissection of Pelvic Autonomic Ganglia and Associated Nerves in Male and Female Rats. J Vis Exp. 2020 Mar 7;(157). doi: 10.3791/60904. PubMed PMID: 32202526.
- Smith-Anttila CJA, Mason EA, Wells CA, Aronow BJ, Osborne PB, Keast JR. Identification of a Sacral, Visceral Sensory Transcriptome in Embryonic and Adult Mice. eNeuro. 2020 Jan/Feb;7(1). doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0397-19.2019. Print 2020 Jan/Feb. PubMed PMID: 31996391; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC7036621.
- Turco AE, Cadena MT, Zhang HL, Sandhu JK, Oakes SR, Chathurvedula T, Peterson RE, Keast JR, Vezina CM. A temporal and spatial map of axons in developing mouse prostate. Histochem Cell Biol. 2019 Jul;152(1):35-45. doi: 10.1007/s00418-019-01784-6. Epub 2019 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 30976911; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6685201.
- Wong AW, Osborne PB, Keast JR. Axonal Injury Induces ATF3 in Specific Populations of Sacral Preganglionic Neurons in Male Rats. Front Neurosci. 2018;12:766. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00766. eCollection 2018. PubMed PMID: 30405344; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6207596.
- Keast JR, Osborne PB. Autonomic Nervous System and Male Reproduction. In: Skinner MK, Jegou B, editors. Encyclopedia of Reproduction Second ed. Amsterdam: Elsevier; 2018.
- Building a urogenital nervous system connectome
- Development of autonomic and nociceptive circuits
- Neuroanatomy of human visceral systems
- Functional neuroanatomy of genitourinary vasculature
Faculty Research Themes
School Research Themes
For further information about this research, please contact Joint Heads of Laboratory Professor Janet Keast & Dr Peregrine Osborne
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