Prof Richard Banati

Biomedical Scientist
Phone - +61 2 9717 3505
BANATI_Richard staff photo


Richard Banati is an internationally-recognised scientist with interdisciplinary research interests in the brain’s innate immune system and the development of advanced medical imaging for the detection of subtle of non-obvious brain pathology. The tracer principle, on which this medical research is based, has applications far beyond neuroscience, such as the measurement of naturally occurring isotopes (‘isotopic signatures’) as well as the detection of hazardous trace contaminants due to human activity as they bio-accumulate in water, food and aerosols.


While it is well understood that the health of the environment is intimately linked to human health, the actual pathways of contaminants into the human body and their impact on human health can be difficult to assess.  In 2008, Professor Banati joined the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) as a Distinguished Research Fellow, to develop new applications of nuclear technologies to study biological material.

The research of Professor Banati and his colleagues has received recognition through the bi-annual Award of the German league for Research into Alzheimer's Disease, in addition to many more international accolades. Richard is Professor and Foundation Chair of Medical Radiation Sciences at the University of Sydney, Director of the Ramaciotti Centre for Brain Imaging at the Brain & Mind Research Institute (BMRI) and Director, University of Sydney node of the National Imaging Facility.


He is now a member of the ANSTO Executive Team and supports the CEO in the focus areas of strategic research and national and international collaborations and partnerships.


Selected publications

Gut. P., Zweckstetter, M., Banati, R. Lost in translocation: the functions of the 18-kD translocator protein. Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 26(7), 349-356 (2015). doi: 10.1016/j.tem.2015.04.001

Hatty, C. R., Banati, R. B. Protein-ligand and membrane-ligand interactions in pharmacology: the case of the translocator protein (TSPO). Pharmacological Research, 100, 58–63 (2015). doi: 10.1016/j.phrs.2015.07.029.

Middleton, R. J., Liu, G-J., Banati, R. B. Guwiyang Wurra - 'Fire Mouse': a global gene knockout model for TSPO/PBR drug development, loss-of-function and mechanisms of compensation studies. Biochemical Society Transactions, 43(4), 553-558 (2015). doi: 10.1042/BST20150039

Banati, R. B., Middleton, R. J., Chan, R., Hatty, C. R., Kam, W. W-Y., Quin, C., Graeber, M. B., Parmar, A., Callaghan, P., Fok, S., Howell, N. R., Gregoire, M-C., Szabo, A. M., Pham, T., Davis, E., Liu, G-J. Positron emission tomography and functional characterization of a complete PBR/TSPO-knockout. Nature Communications, 5, 5452 (2014). doi: 10.1038/ncomms6452.

Buljan, V. A., Holsinger, D. R. M., Hambly, B. D., Kanellis, V., Matar, E., Larkin, X., Liu, G-J., Bohorquez-Florez, J. J., Banati, R. B. Intrinsic synergistic-topological mechanism versus synergistic-topological matrix in microtubule self-organisation. EPJ Nonlinear Biomedical Physics, 2(1), 15 (2014). doi: 10.1140/epjnbp/s40366-014-0015-8

Chan, R. H. Y., Kam W. W-Y., Liu G-J., Zavitsanou K., Banati R. B. Testicular translocator protein expression is differentially altered by synthetic cannabinoid HU210 in adult and adolescent rats. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, 5(4), 1000198 (2014). doi: 10.4172/2155-6105.1000198

Hatty, C. R., Le Brun, A. P., Lake, V., Clifton, L. A., Liu, G. J., James, M., Banati, R. B. Investigating the interactions of the 18kDa translocator protein and its ligand PK11195 in planar lipid bilayers Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Biomembranes, 1838(3), 1019–1030 (2014). doi: 10.1016/j.bbamem.2013.12.013

Kilburn-Watt, E., Banati, R. B., Keay, K. A. Rats with altered behaviour following nerve injury show evidence of centrally altered thyroid regulation. Brain Research Bulletin, 104, 110–118 (2014). doi:10.1016/j.brainresbull.2014.07.004

Liu, G. J., Middleton, R.J., Hatty, C.R., Kam W.W.Y., Chan, R., Pham T., Harrison-Brown, M., Dodson, E., Veale, K., Banati, R.B. The 18 kDa translocator protein, microglia and neuroinflammation. Brain Pathology, 24(6), 631–653 (2014). doi: 10.1111/bpa.12196

Sajjan, S., Holsinger. R. M. D., Fok, S., Ebrahimkhani, A. S., Rollo, J. L., Banati, R. B.,Graeber, M. B. Up-regulation of matrix metallopeptidase 12 in motor neurons undergoing synaptic stripping. Neuroscience, 274, 331-340 (2014). doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.05.052

Buljan, V. A., Damian Holsinger, R. M., Hambly, B. D., Banati, R. B., Ivanova, E. P. Intrinsic microtubule GTP-cap dynamics in semi-confined systems: kinetochore–microtubule interface. Journal of Biological Physics, 39, 81-98 (2013). doi: 10.1007/s10867-012-9287-3

Kam, W. W. W., Middleton, R., Lake, V., Banati, R. B. Green fluorescent protein alters the transcriptional regulation of human mitochondrial genes after gamma irradiation. Journal of Fluorescence, 23(4), 613-619 (2013). doi: 10.1007/s10895-013-1206-x

Kam, W. W. Y., Banati, R. Effects of ionizing radiation on mitochondria. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 65, 607-619 (2013). doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.07.024

Kam, W. W. Y., Lake, V., Banos, C., Davies, J., Banati, R. Apparent polyploidization after gamma irradiation: pitfalls in the use of quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) for the estimation of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA gene copy numbers International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 14, 11544-11559 (2013). doi: 10.3390/ijms140611544

Kam, W.W.Y., McNamara, A. L., Lake, V., Banos, C., Davies, J. D., Kuncic, Z., Banati, R. B. Predicted ionisation in mitochondria and observed acute changes in the mitochondrial transcriptome after gamma irradiation: A Monte Carlo simulation and quantitative PCR study Mitochondrion, 13(6), 736–742 (2013). doi: 10.1016/j.mito.2013.02.005