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Phil Robinson Head, Cell Signalling Unit



Professor Phillip Robinson BSc (Hons) PhD NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow, Professor of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Sydney; Professor of Chemistry, The University of Newcastle — is Head of the Cell Signalling Unit at Children’s Medical Research Institute (CMRI) and an NHMRC Senior Principal Research Fellow. Professor Robinson’s career began after completing a PhD in Medical Biochemistry at The University of Newcastle.

After an NIH Fellowship and a postdoctoral position at the University of Cincinnati, USA, he returned to Australia as an Australian Postdoctoral Fellow and a QEII Fellow and then developed a research team in Newcastle’s John Hunter Hospital. Professor Robinson joined CMRI as a result of the leadership and vision of Professor Rowe (CMRI Director 1980-2006) in building an exciting environment for conducting basic research with a focus on childhood problems and an environment providing the freedom to pursue large, long-term projects.
 
Professor Robinson has received a number of awards during his career including the AW Campbell Award for Excellence in Neuroscience from the Australian Neuroscience Society and the Amersham Pharmacia Biotechnology Medal from the Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.
 
Professor Robinson was chair of the Fellowships Committee of the NHMRC for three years and is also a member of the Research Committee and the Training and Awards Committee. He is on the editorial board of a number of journals, including the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
 
Professor Robinson and his team have made major contributions to understanding aspects of regulating nerve cell communication, principally the process of endocytosis and the protein dynamin, which along with other nerve terminal proteins, remains the focus of the research. 
 
In a partnership with Professor Adam McCluskey at the University of Newcastle (UoN), the teams have developed the first pharmacological approach to controlling endocytosis, which will be a useful experimental tool and may also prove clinically useful. In 2009, Professor McCluskey and Professor Robinson established Australia’s first Centre for Kinomics, called the Australian Cancer Research Foundation Chemical Proteomics Centre for Kinomics, supported by Ramaciotti at CMRI and UoN.