Keith Brain

Colleges, School and Institutes


Dr Brain graduated with a PhD in Physiology in 1998 and in Medicine in 1999 from the University of Sydney, Australia. After working as a medical officer at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney he joined the Department of Pharmacology, Oxford, in 2001.

While in Oxford, Dr Brain held a series of research fellowships, including a Nuffield Medical Fellowship, Wellcome Trust Career Development Research Fellowship (both based in the Department of Pharmacology), Staines Medical Research Fellowship (Exeter College) and the post of Research Fellow and Tutor (Keble College). In 2009 he moved to the post of Senior Lecturer (Neuropharmacology) at the University of Birmingham. His field of research is Autonomic Neuroscience (he is the International Secretary for the International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience), is the Head of Intercalation for the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, and the deputy lead for Years 1 and 2 of the MBChB programme. He also teaches in the fields of Pharmacology and Renal physiology.

Research interests

Research interests
Dr Brain’s laboratory aims to understand autonomic junctional transmission from fundamental principles through to therapeutic interventions

Current projects
• The effect of cannabinoids on sympathetic transmission
• The role of parasympathetic transmission in bladder overactivity (with R. Manchanda, IIT, Mumbai)
• Developing new optical and MRI-sensitive probes for sympathetic failure (with S. Muzerengi)


Senior Lecturer:
• Fellow of the British Pharmacological Society (2015)
• MA, University of Oxford, 2002
• MB/BS (Hons), University of Sydney, 2000
• PhD (Physiology), University of Sydney, 1999
• BSc(Med)(Hons), University of Sydney, 1995
• BSc (Physics and Pure Mathematics), University of Sydney, 1995

Education/Academic qualification

  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery


  • Doctor of Philosophy, University of Sydney

    Calcium in autonomic neurons following action potentials

Professional Qualifications

  • General Medical Council registration,

    2003 -

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Dr Brain is happy to discuss PhD proposals in autonomic physiology, autonomic pharmacology and urogenital pathophysiology.