Profile photo of Staff member

Mark Connor

Professor of Pharmacology, Associate Dean, HDR

Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Contact Details

Tel: (02) 9850 2719


Level 1, 75 Talavera Road, Macquarie University

My lab focuses on the receptors and ion channels that are the target of drugs which relieve pain or other neurological conditions, or which are otherwise (mis)used for their psychoactive properties. In particular, my lab focuses on the molecular actions of cannabinoids, including the constituents of marijuana and novel illicit synthetic cannabinoids. We are also interested in how therapeutic opioids act at common variants of the human µ-opioid receptor. We study the signaling and regulation of receptors, and are keen to in identify novel actions of currently used drugs, or new compounds that act at important drug targets. We primarily use electrophysiology and high throughput fluorescent assays to study the effects of drugs on recombinant human proteins in living cells.


BSc, PhD

Research Interest

  • Opioid and cannabinoid receptor signalling
  • Effects of natural variants of opioid receptors on drug action
  • Molecular targets of cannabis constituents
  • Illicit synthetic cannabinoids
  • Opioid receptors in cancer

Select Publications

  1. Redmond W, Cawston E, Grimsey N, Stuart J, Edington A, Glass M, Connor M (2015). Identification of N-arachidonoyl dopamine as a highly biased ligand at cannabinoid CB1 receptors. Brit J Pharmacol, In Press
  2. Cawston E, Connor M, Di Marzo V, Silvestri R, Glass M (2015). Distinct Temporal Fingerprint for Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate (cAMP) Signalling of Indole-2-carboxamides as Allosteric Modulators of the Cannabinoid Receptors. J Med Chem, 58, 5979-5988
  3. Banister S, Moir M, Stuart J, Kevin R, Wood K, Longworth M, Wilkinson S, Beinat C, Buchanan A, Glass M, Connor M, McGregor I, Kassiou M (2015). The pharmacology of indole and indazole synthetic cannabinoid designer drugs AB-FUBINACA, ADB-FUBINACA, AB-PINACA, ADB-PINACA, 5F-AB-PINACA, 5F-ADB-PINACA, ADBICA and 5F-ADBICA. ACS Chem Neurosci 6, 1546-1559
  4. Knapman AJ, Santiago M, Connor M (2015). The A6V polymorphism of the human µ-opioid receptor negatively impacts signalling of morphine and endogenous opioids in vitro. Brit of Pharmacol, 172, 2258-2272

Grant Success

Mechanisms underlying the repellent effects of predator odours in rodent. ARC Discovery Project, Iain McGregor, Mathew Crowther, Mark Connor, Samuel Banister (2016-2018).

The pharmacology and toxicology of synthetic cannabinoids. NHMRC Project Grant, Michael Kassiou, Iain McGregor, Mark Connor (2016-2018)

Creation of platforms for cell based elucidation of potential cannabinoid mechanisms of action in epilepsies. Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics, Mark Connor (2015-2016)

Back to the top of this page