Associate Professor Kulmira Nurgali completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne in 2004, under the supervision of Professor John Furness, a world leader in the field of Enteric Neuroscience. 

Associate Professor Nurgali developed her research expertise and her own scientific niche in the field of Enteric Neuroscience. Within a short period of time, Dr Nurgali established an international reputation as an electrophysiologist studying functioning of the enteric neurons in pathological conditions.

She is currently working on important problems in biomedical research, namely enteric neuropathy associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and gastrointestinal side-effects of anti-cancer chemotherapy. There is no effective treatment developed for both problems, and her research significantly contributes to understanding the underlying mechanisms of these problems and proposing novel therapies.

Associate Professor Nurgali's research is internationally recognised and valued, as evidenced by invitations to speak at several International and National conferences. Her research program has been funded by 3 NHMRC grants, the prestigious NHMRC Peter Doherty Fellowship in 2006 and several other competitive grants from external funding bodies.

She is the Head of the Enteric Neuropathy Lab located at the state-of-the-art Centre for Health, Research and Education at the Sunshine Hospital.


Refereed Journal Articles

McQuade R, Carbone S, Stojanovska V, Jovanovska V, Rahman A, Senior P, Bornstein JC, Nurgali K (2016) Role of oxidative stress in oxaliplatin-induced colonic dysmotility and enteric neuropathy in mice. British J of Pharmacology 173:3502-21. The 1st report on oxidative stress as a mechanism of oxaliplatin-induced enteric neuropathy.

Stanley D, Mason LJ, Mackin KE, Srikhanta YN, Lyras D, Prakash MD, Nurgali K, Venegas A, Hill MD, Moore RJ, Wong CHY (2016) Evidence for translocation and dissemination of commensal bacteria as a source of infection after stroke.  Nature Medicine 22(11):1277-84. The 1st evidence that post-stroke infection is caused by translocated gut bacteria.

Carbone SE, Jovanovka V, Brookes SJH, Nurgali K (2016) Electrophysiological and morphological changes in colonic myenteric neurons from chemotherapy-treated patients. Neurogastroenterology & Motility 28:975-84. The 1st electrophysiological recording from human enteric neurons in pathology.

Robinson AM, Gondalia SV, Karpe AV, Eri R, Beale DG, Morrison PD, Palombo EA, Nurgali K (2016) Fecal microbiota and metabolome in a mouse model of spontaneous chronic colitis: relevance to human Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases 22:2767-87. Substantiates that Winnie model closely mimics human IBD.

Robinson AM, Sakkal S, Park A, Jovanovska V, Payne N, Carbone SE, Bornstein JC, Bernard C, Boyd R, Nurgali K (2014) Mesenchymal stem cells and conditioned medium avert enteric neuropathy and colon dysfunction in guinea-pig TNBS-colitis. Am Journal of Physiology. 307(11):G1115-29. The 1st study on the efficacy of mesenchymal stem cells for the treatment of inflammation-induced enteric neuropathy.

Conference presentations

Dr Nurgali has given 42 presentations (oral and poster) at National and International Conferences. Select presentations include:

Kulmira, N (2013) "Enteric nervous system: a target for novel therapies", presented at the "Australian Neuroscience Society Conference", Melbourne.

Kulmira, N (2012) Panel Chair and Symposium organiser: "Enteric neuropathologies: searching for the sources of gastrointestinal disorders", presented at the "Australian Neuroscience Society Conference", Auckland, New Zealand.

Kulmira, N (2009) "Axonal damage and plasticity following intestinal inflammation", presented at the "XIth Little Brain - Big Satellite Meeting", Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA.

Kulmira, N (2008) "Neuron Sub-type Specific Effects of Inflammation and their implications", presented at the "Digestive Disease Week Conference", San Diego, California, USA.

Kulmira, N. (2007) "Effects of intestinal inflammation on morphologically identified myenteric neurons", presented at the "International Society of Autonomic Neuroscience Conference", Kyoto, Japan.

Teaching responsibilities

  • Advanced Neurosciences
  • Growth and Development of the Nervous system
  • Growth and Aging of the Nervous system

Unit coordination

  • Advanced Neurosciences

Postgraduate research students and fellows


Primary supervision of 20 honours, 2 MSc and 2 PhD students.

Current supervision

Primary supervision of 3 honours, 8 PhD students and 3 postdoctoral research fellows. Co-supervision of 3 PhD students.

Research grants

Associate Professor Nurgali’s research has attracted more than $2.2mln (>1.7mln of external funding and > $500,000 of internal funding).

2012-14: NHMRC: $333,510

2009-11: NHMRC: $405,000

2006-08: NHMRC: $466,500

2012-2015: 4 Near-miss NHMRC grants: totalling $100,000

2012: Internal funding grants from Victoria University: totalling $244,700

Professional memberships

  • Australian Neuroscience Society (ANS)
  • International Society of Autonomic Neuroscience (ISAN)
  • Australasian Neurogastroenterology and Motility Association (ANGMA)

Areas of expertise

  • Development of novel therapies for the treatment of Enteric Neuropathy
  • Electrophysiology
  • Enteric Nervous System
  • Gastrointestinal side-effects of anti-cancer chemotherapy
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Contact details

(03) 8395 8223
(03) 9919 2465