Dr Terence Pang
BSc (Hons) PhD GradDipClinRes

My research studies the ancestral origins of stress-related disorders such as depression and anxiety. The study of this 'transgenerational response' (i.e. a change in the offspring which can be linked to an event in the parental generation) is a newly emergent field of mammalian research. My research team has discovered that the impact of paternal stress is more pervasive than previously thought. We found that chronic stress (below the threshold that changes behaviour of an individual) experienced prior to conception could significantly alter anxiety and depression-related behaviours of offspring (Short et al, Translational Psychiatry 2016). We are currently investigating the biomechanics underlying the inheritance of stress via the male germline after identifying that stress changes small RNA profile in sperm. We are also interested in how other environmental factors such as exercise (Short et al., Translational Psychiatry 2017) and cognitive stimulation (Yeshurun et al., Psychoneuroendocrinology 2017) may hold therapeutic benefits by countering the effects of stress.

While my work is primarily based on animal models of disease, there is growing translation to human research in collaboration with clinical geneticists and psychiatrists.  I am pursuing clinical studies of parental depression and offspring mental health (Australian Twins Registry/Murdoch Children’s Research Institute) as well as studies of trauma-associated predictive and prognostic biomarkers.  

I previously investigated depression and stress-response in heritable diseases such as Huntington’s disease (Pang et al., Human Molecular Genetics 2009; Du et al., Translational Psychiatry 2012), and acquired conditions such as alcohol withdrawal (Pang et al., European Journal of Neuroscience 2013; Frontiers in Pharmacology 2013). I have undertaken clinical studies of Huntington’s disease through the HD Foundation of Victoria and Monash University (Shirbin et al., Psychoneuroendocrinology 2013), and of adolescent psychosis with OYH Research Centre (Murphy et al., Schizophrenia and Treatment 2014). I have collaborated with clinicians at Boston Massachusetts General Hospital (Harvard Medical School) on other HD projects, as well as the Experimental Cardiology group at the Baker IDI Heart Research Institute (Kiriazis et al., Journal of Physiology 2012).

I have been a member of the Equality in Science (EQiS) leadership working group within the Florey Institute since 2015, and was recently invited to join the New Investigators group. I was previously the convener of the Florey Postdoctoral Association (2014-15) and organised the Florey Postgraduate Student Mentorship Program (2014-5). I am active on postgraduate review committees and have previously undertaken undergraduate teaching with the University of Melbourne (Dept of Physiology & undergraduate Medicine). I am involved in outreach programs as a research mentor at the Elizabeth Blackburn School of Sciences (University High) and as a ‘Mindfields’ speaker through the Dax gallery. I have also been interviewed by ABC Gold Coast as part of the ‘Mental As’ mental health awareness week.

  • Location

    Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health
    30 Royal Parade


Awards and achievements

NHMRC Project Grant (2015 - 2017)

Walter Cottman Endowment Fund

Illumina ANZ Pilot Grant Programme


BSc (Hons)

Grad Dip Clinical Research

PhD (Melbourne)

Research Papers

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Showing 10 of 38. VIEW ALL

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