High Blood Pressure.

Dr Melissa Farnham
Unit Leader

Dr Farnham was awarded her PhD in 2010 for a thesis entitled “The role of PACAP in central cardiovascular control in normotension and hypertension” (minor emendations only). In 2010 Dr Farnham commenced her post-doctoral training at the Advanced School of Medicine at Macquarie University in Prof Pilowsky’s group and was promoted to a level B position in 2012. In 2013, the Pilowsky research group moved to HRI, where Dr Farnham has continued her research. Dr Farnham’s research interests are centred around peptide regulation of central cardiovascular control.

Current Appointments

Unit Leader

High Blood Pressure Group

Conjoint Senior Lecturer

The University of Sydney

Prizes and awards

2014    Young Achiever Award, HRI


2017             Brown Fellowship                          

2017             NAB Career Re-Start Grant            

2014-2016    NHMRC project grant                  

2012-2014    ARC DECRA                                


Kakall ZM, Pilowsky PM, Farnham MMJ (2017) PACAP(6-38) or kynurenate microinjections into the RVLM prevent development of sympathetic long-term facilitation following acute intermittent hypoxia. American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology. In press.

Bhandare AM, Kapoor K, Powell KL, Braine E, Casillas-Espinosa PM, O’Brien TJ, Farnham MMJ, Pilowsky PMCA (2017) Inhibition of microglial activation with minocycline at the intrathecal level attenuates sympathoexcitatory and proarrhythmogenic changes in rats with chronic temporal lobe epilepsy. Neuroscience. 350:23-38

Bhandare A, Kapoor K, Pilowsky PM, Farnham MMJ (2016) Seizure induced sympathoexcitation is caused by activation of glutamatergic receptors in RVLM that also causes proarrythmogenic changes mediated by PACAP and microglia in rats. J Neurosci 36:506-17.

Kim SJ, Pilowsky PM, Farnham MMJ (2016) Intrathecal intermittent orexin-a causes sympathetic long-term facilitation and sensitizes the peripheral chemoreceptor response to hypoxia in rats. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 358:492-501.

Bhandare A, Mohammed S, Pilowsky PM, Farnham MMJ (2015) Antagonism of PACAP or microglia function worsens the cardiovascular consequences of kainic acid induced seizures in rats. J Neurosci 35:2191-99.

Inglott MA, Lerner, E, Pilowsky PM, Farnham MMJ (2012) Activation of PAC1 and VPAC receptor subtypes elicits differential physiological responses from sympathetic preganglionic neurons in the anaesthetised rat. Br J Pharmacol 167:1089-98


Prof Richard Wilson, University of Calgary, Canada

Dr Peter Cistulli, The University of Sydney

Dr Melissa Farnham is in group:
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