Professor Iain Clarke



Professor Clarke graduated from Massey University, New Zealand (B. Agric. Sci., 1971) followed by M. Agric. Sci. (1st Class) in reproductive physiology in 1973). He then obtained his PhD at Edinburgh University, Scotland in 1976, studying endocrinology and behaviour. He then moved to Australia and has been in Melbourne since 1977. He became a Senior Research Fellow of NHMRC in 1986, rising to Principal Research Fellow in 1991. He became Chairman, Department of Physiology, Monash University in 2007.



Prof has published 430 research papers and has received The Woodward Prize for Excellence in Research in Neuroscience (1992), a Senior Fulbright Award (1997), the Asia and Oceania Medal of The Endocrine Society (United Kingdom) in 2001 and the TransPacific Lecturership, Endocrine Society (USA) in 2004. Most recently (2009), he was the recipient of The Geoffrey Harris Memorial Award of the International Federation of Neuroendocrinology (2009).


Research Interests

Historical: Prof Clarke’s seminal studies on the measurement of hypothalamic secretion of GnRH in sentient animals were published in 1982 and he has contributed extensively to the field of reproductive neuroendocrinology for 35 years. His laboratory expanded to embrace all many other aspects of neuroendocrinology and he currently devotes 50% of his research effort to the study of brain mechanisms that regulate food intake and energy expenditure. There are two main divisions in Professor Clarke’s laboratory; reproduction in association with Dr Jeremy Smith and metabolic Neuroendocrinology, in association with Dr Belinda Henry.


In particular, his work has utilised sheep models, which allow a range of studies not easily undertaken in small laboratory species. He has developed a number of novel neuroendocrine methodologies that allow analysis ranging from the whole animal down to the singe cell and subcellular function. These techniques have enabled a range of national and international collaborations, with grant funding from Australian and offshore sources. In addition, his laboratory undertakes a range of contract research projects.


His laboratory is currently focused on the following areas:-


             -      Central regulation of reproduction by kisspeptin and gonadotropin inhibitory hormone


             -      Estrogen signalling in neuroendocrine systems


             -      Control of food intake and energy expenditure by leptin and novel regulatory factors


             -      Melanocortins and reproduction


             -      Central regulation of energy expenditure



His laboratory is currently focused on the following areas:-


    * Strategic Committee International Society Neuroendocrinology

    * Organising Committee, International Farm Animal Endocrinology meeting 2011

    * Editor, Neuroendocrinology

    * Editorial Board, Endocrinology

    * Steering Committee (Programming) Endocrine Society (USA)



Selected Publications

Some recent publications are listed below:-


HENRY, B.A., DUNSHEA, F.R., GOULD, M. and CLARKE, I.J.  Profiling post-prandial thermogenesis in muscle and fat of sheep and the central effect of leptin administration. Endocrinology 149: 2019 – 2026, 2008


CLARKE, I.J., SARI, I.P., QI, Y., LI, Q., SMITH, J.T., PARKINGTON, H.C., UBUKA, T., IQBAL, J., LI, Q., TILBROOK, A.J., MORGAN, K., PAWSON, A.J., TSUTSUI, K., MILLAR, R.P. and BENTLEY, G.E. Potent action of RFRP-3 on pituitary gonadotropes indicative of an hypophysiotropic role in the negative regulation of gonadotropin secretion. Endocrinology 149(11): 5811-5821, 2008


ROSEWEIR, A., KAUFFMAN, A., SMITH, J.T., GUERRIERO, K.A., MORGAN, K., PIELECKA-FORTUNA, J., PINEDA, R., GOTTSCH, M.L., TENA-SEMPERE, M., MOENTER, S.M., TERASAWA, E.I., CLARKE, I.J., STEINER, R.A., and MILLAR, R.P.  Discovery of potent kisspeptin antagonists delineate physiological mechanisms gonadotropin regulation. Journal of Neuroscience 29: 3920-3929, 2009.


BACKHOLER, K., SMITH, J.T. and CLARKE, I.J. Melanocortins may stimulate reproduction by activating orexin neurons in the dorsomedial hypothalamus and kisspeptin neurons in the preoptic area of the ewe. Endocrinology 150: 5488-5497, 2009.


SMITH, J.T. & CLARKE, I.J. Gonadotropin inhibitory hormone (GnIH) function in mammals. Invited Review. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. 21: 255-260, 2010.


TSCHOP, J., NOGUEIRAS, R., LOCKIE, S., KASTEN, K., CASTANEDA, T.R., HUBER, N., GUANCIALE, K., PEREZ-TILVE, D., WOODS, S.C., OLDFIELD, B.J., CLARKE, I.J., CHUA, S., FAROOQI, S., O’RAHILLY, S., CALDWELL, C.C. and TSCHOP, M.H. CNS leptin action modulates immune response and survival in sepsis. Journal of Neuroscience 30: 6036-6047, 2010.


QI, Y., HENRY, B.A., OLDFIELD, B.J., & CLARKE, I.J. The action of leptin on appetite regulating cells in the ovine hypothalamus: Demonstration of direct action in the absence of the arcuate nucleus. Endocrinology 151: 2106-2116, 2010.



© 2010 Victorian Obesity Consortium