Dr Ian Forster
BEng (Elec), MApplSc, PhD

Senior Research Fellow

Parkville Campus
30 Royal Parade
Parkville Victoria 3052

Ian Forster profile


Dr Forster obtained his PhD in electrical engineering as a member of the Bionic Ear team, designing and developing the successful prototype implantable cochlear implant in 1979.

After a brief stint at the Institute of Neurology, London, he moved to the University of Zurich, to focus on membrane biophysics and electrophysiology of voltage-gated ion channels (collaborating with Professor RD Keynes, University of Cambridge), ligand-gated receptor channels (collaborating with Professor D Bertrand, University of Geneva) and structure-function of membrane transport proteins, with Professor H Murer (University of Zurich) and Prof Ernest Wright (UCLA). He was a member of the Swiss Space Biology team that first performed electrophysiology on living egg cells under microgravity.

Dr Forster relocated to Melbourne in 2016 where he set up his electrophysiology rigs in the Ion channels and Disease group to focus on structure-function relations of voltage gated ion channels. He has expertise in applying electrophysiological and fluorometric techniques to the Xenopus oocyte expression system, which he uses to study epilepsy-causing channel mutations and as potential therapeutic targets.

He is actively involved in teaching at undergraduate and post-graduate levels and runs an annual e-phys workshop at The Florey.

Career highlights

Current roles

  • Senior Research Fellow, The Florey

Past roles

  • Privat Dozent (PD) and Research Scientist, University of Z├╝rich

Awards and achievements

  • 2010-2015 Swiss National Science Foundation, Grant Principal Investigator
  • 2010 Habilitation, (venia legendi-teaching right) University of Zurich
  • 2002-2008 Swiss National Science Foundation, Grant Co- Investigator
  • 1992-1994 Swiss National Science Foundation, Grant Principal Investigator

Research publications


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