Dr Puspha Sinnayah received her PhD in neuroscience from the Howard Florey Institute in 1999.

Her doctoral work, under the supervision of Prof Michael McKinley at the Howard Florey Institute, focused on investigating the role of the brain renin angiotensin system (RAS) as a neurosignalling mechanism in fluid balance.

She then spent 10 years working in the United States (1999-2009), investigating the central neural mechanisms of homeostasis of appetite and cardiovascular control under the mentorship of Prof. Robin Davisson and Prof. Michael Cowley respectively.

On returning to Australia, she has focussed on an academic career, building an extensive teaching portfolio and has taught and coordinated a range of subjects in physiology and pathophysiology, at Monash College, La Trobe University and Victoria University.

She was the recipient of the Vice Chancellor's citation for excellence in teaching and learning at Victoria University in 2016. In 2018, she has received the Vice Chancellors team award for programs that enhance learning.

She is currently a senior lecturer, with the First Year College at Victoria University.

She is also engaged presently in looking at neural pathways regulating appetite, in collaboration with Prof Andrew Lawrence's team at the Florey Institute.


Co-supervision of 1 PhD student.

Research grants

  • Internal funding grants from Victoria University in 2012-13, totalling $19,000
  • Gencor Pty Ltd- $200,000


Refereed journal articles

Griggs, J. L., Mathai, M. L., & Sinnayah, P. (2018). Caralluma fimbriata extract activity involves the 5-HT2c receptor in PWS Snord116 deletion mouse model. Brain and Behavior. doi:10.1002/brb3.1102

Albiston, A. L., Cacador, M., Sinnayah, P., Burns, P., & Chai, S. Y. (2017). Insulin-regulated aminopeptidase inhibitors do not alter glucose handling in normal and diabetic rats. Journal of Molecular Endocrinology, 58(4), 193-198. doi:10.1530/JME-17-0033

Griggs, J. L., Sinnayah, P., & Mathai, M. L. (2015). Prader–Willi syndrome: From genetics to behaviour, with special focus on appetite treatments. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 59, 155-172. doi:10.1016/j.neubiorev.2015.10.003

Billes, S. K., Sinnayah, P., & Cowley, M. A. (2014). Naltrexone/bupropion for obesity: an investigational combination pharmacotherapy for weight loss. Pharmacological Research, 84, 1-11. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2014.04.004

Kievit, P., Halem, H., Marks, D. L., Dong, J. Z., Glavas, M. M., Sinnayah, P., Culler, M. D. (2013). Chronic treatment with a melanocortin-4 receptor agonist causes weight loss, reduces insulin resistance, and improves cardiovascular function in diet-induced obese rhesus macaques. Diabetes, 62(2), 490-497. doi:10.2337/db12-0598

View more of Dr Sinnayah's publications in VU's Research Repository.

Conference presentations

Rekhari, S., & Sinnayah, P. (2017). H5P and the Brave New World of Learning Interactives: A Case Study in First Year Anatomy & Physiology units. In The Higher Education Technology Agenda (THETA 2017). Auckland, New Zealand: The Higher Education Technology Agenda.

Professional membership

  • American Physiological Society
  • Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia

Areas of expertise

  • learning and teaching
  • Active learning
  • Obesity Research
  • Neuroscience

Contact details