Dr Paul Callaghan

Imaging Neurophysiologist
Phone - +61 2 9717 9762
Dr Paul Callaghan


Role at ANSTO

Paul applies PET/CT and SPECT/CT multimodal molecular imaging techniques for investigating animal models of neurological and psychiatric disease.



After graduating with a B.Sc. (Hons.) from the University of Adelaide, Paul commenced a PhD jointly between the University of Adelaide and University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, USA.


This work involved understanding the acute and long term pharmacology of the substituted amphetamine ("Ecstasy") p-methoxyamphetamine (PMA or 'Death'). Subsequently, Paul worked at Flinders University investigating novel autonomic neural pathways involved in neuroinflammation (pain).


Prior to working at ANSTO, he was at the University of Sydney, investigating the neurochemistry underlying long term behavioural changes in social anxiety produced by the substituted amphetamines, methamphetamine ('ice') and MDMA ('ecstasy').


Research interests and areas of expertise

Paul’s expertise lies in PET/SPECT longitudinal imaging, monoamine pharmacology, drug abuse, in vivo voltammetry, neuroanatomy, in vivo and in vitro pharmacological models, quantitative autoradiography, and immunohistochemistry.


Qualifications & Achievements


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, the University of Sydney
  • Ph.D. at the University of Adelaide
  • B.Sc.(Hons.) at the University of Adelaide
  • Paul is a member of the Society for Neuroscience (SFN)




Selected publications

Callaghan, P. D., Wimberley, C. A., Rahardjo, G. L., Berghofer, P. J., Pham, T. Q., Jackson, T., Zahra, D., Bourdier, T., Wyatt, N., Greguric, I., Howell, N. R., Siegele, R., Pastuovic, Z., Mattner, F., Loc'h, C., Gregoire, M-C., Katsifis, A. Comparison of in vivo binding properties of the 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) ligands [18F]PBR102 and [18F]PBR111 in a model of excitotoxin-induced neuroinflammation. European Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, 42(1), 138-151 (2015). doi: 10.1007/s00259-014-2895-

Cresswell, T., Simpson, S., Mazumder, D., Callaghan, P., Nguyen, A. Bioaccumulation kinetics and organ distribution of cadmium and zinc in the freshwater decapod Macrobrachium australiense. Environmental Science & Technology, 49(2), 1182–1189 (2015). doi: 10.1021/es505254w

Reilhac. A., Charil, A., Wimberley, C., Angelis, G., Hamze, H., Callaghan, P., Garcia, M-P., Boisson, F., Ryder, W., Meikle, S. R., Gregoire, M-C. 4D PET iterative deconvolution with spatiotemporal regularization for quantitative dynamic PET imaging. NeuroImage, 118, 484-493 (2015). doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.06.029

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.

Chohan, T. W., Nguyen, A., Todd, S. M., Bennett, M. R., Callaghan P., Arnold, J. C. Partial genetic deletion of neuregulin 1 and adolescent stress interact to alter NMDA receptor binding in the medial prefrontal cortex. Frontiers in Behavioural Neuroscience, 8, 298 (2014). doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00298

Wimberley, C., Angelis, G., Boisson, F., Callaghan, P., Fischer, K., Pichler, B. J., Meikle, R. S., Gregoire, M-C., Reilhac, A. Simulation-based optimisation of the PET data processing for Partial Saturation Approach protocols. NeuroImage, 97, 29–40 (2014). doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.04.010

Mattner, F., Staykova, M., Berghofer, P., Wong, H-J., Fordham, S., Callaghan, P., Jackson, T., Pham, T., Gregoire, M-C., Zahra, D., Rahardjo, G., Linares, D., Katsifis, A. Central nervous system expression and PET imaging of the translocator protein in relapsing-remitting experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Journal of Nuclear Medicine, 54(2), 291-298 (2013). doi: 10.2967/jnumed.112.108894

Motbey, C. P., Clemens, K. J., Apetz, N., Winstock, A. R., Ramsey, J., Li, K. M., Wyatt, N., Callaghan, P. D., Bowen, M. T., Cornish, J. L., McGregor, I. S. High levels of intravenous mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone) self-administration in rats: Neural consequences and comparison with methamphetamine. Journal of Psychopharmacology, 27(9), 823-836 (2013). doi: 10.1177/0269881113490325

Siegele, R., Howell, N., Callaghan, P. D., Pastuovic, Z. Investigation of elemental changes in brain tissues following excitotoxic injury. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research Section B, 306, 125-128 (2013). doi: 10.1016/j.nimb.2012.12.050

Hunt, G. E., McGregor, I. S., Cornish, J. L., Callaghan, P. D. MDMA-induced c-Fos expression in oxytocin-containing neurons is blocked by pretreatment with the 5-HT-1A receptor antagonist WAY 100635. Brain Research Bulletin , 86(1-2), 65-73. (2011)

Karanges, E., Li, K., Motbey, C., Callaghan, P., Katsifis, A., McGregor, I. Differential behavioural and neurochemical outcomes from chronic paroxetine treatment in adolescent and adult rats: a model of adverse antidepressant effects in human adolescents? International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology,14(4), 491-504. (2011)

Katsifis, A., Loc'h, C., Henderson, D., Bourdier, T., Pham, T., Greguric, I., Lam, P., Callaghan, P., Mattner, F., Eberl, D., Fulham, M. A rapid solid-phase extraction method for measurement of non-metabolised peripheral benzodiazepine receptor ligands, [(18)F]PBR102 and [(18)F]PBR111, in rat and primate plasma. Nuclear Medicine and Biology, 38(1), 137-48. (2011)

McGregor, I. S., Callaghan, P. D., Hunt, G. E. From ultrasocial to antisocial: a role for oxytocin in the acute reinforcing effects and long-term adverse consequences of drug use? British Journal of Pharmacology, 154(2), 358-68. (2008)

Quinn, H. R., Matsumoto, I., Callaghan, P. D., Long, L. E., Arnold, J. C., Gunasekaran, N., Thompson, M. R., Dawson, B., Mallet, P. E., Kashem, M. A., Matsuda-Matsumoto, H., Iwazaki, T., McGregor, I. S. Adolescent rats find repeated Delta(9)-THC less aversive than adult rats but display greater residual cognitive deficits and changes in hippocampal protein expression following exposure. Neuropsychopharmacology. 33(5), 1113-26. (2008)

Thompson, M. R., Callaghan, P. D., Hunt, G. E., Cornish, J. L., McGregor, I. S. A role for oxytocin and 5-HT(1A) receptors in the prosocial effects of 3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine ("ecstasy"). Neuroscience, 146(2), 509-14. (2007)

Callaghan, P. D., Owens, W. A., Javors, M. A., Sanchez, T. A., Jones, D. J., Irvine, R. J., Daws, L. C. In vivo analysis of serotonin clearance in rat hippocampus reveals that repeated administration of p-methoxyamphetamine (PMA), but not 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), leads to long-lasting deficits in serotonin transporter function. Journal of Neurochemistry, 100(3), 617-27. (2007)

Callaghan, P. D., Irvine, R. J., Daws, L. C. Differences in the in vivo dynamics of neurotransmitter release and serotonin uptake after acute para-methoxyamphetamine and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine revealed by chronoamperometry. Neurochemistry International, 47(5), 350-61. (2005)