Max Bennett

Max Bennett is an Australian Neuroscientist who served as Director of the Special Research Centre of Excellence in Neurobiology at the University of Sydney from 1982 to 1990.

He is best known for his work proving that nerve terminals on muscles release transmitter molecules, rather than just the noradrenaline and acetylcholine that were previously known.

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Biologist BIOLOGIST (Neuroscientist)
Max Bennett
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  • 1981 Fellow, Australian Academy of Science (FAA)1989-1991 President, Australian Neuroscience Society
  • 1996 Ramaciotti Medal (Ramaciotti Foundation)
  • 1999 Burnet Medal (Australian Academy of Science)
  • 2001 Officer, Order of Australia (AO)
  • 2001 Distinguished Achievement Medallion (Australian Neuroscience Society)
  • 2001-2003 President, International Society for Autonomic Neuroscience
  • 2001- University Chair (University of Sydney)
  • 2001 Excellence in Science (Tall Poppy) Award (Australian Institute of Political Science)
  • 2002 Academia Ophthalmologica Internationalis Award
  • 2003 Centenary Medal
  • 2009 Honorary Fellow, Australian Neuroscience Society

Awards of the National Heart Foundation for Excellence in Research

  • 1996 Goddard Research Award 1998 Renensson Research Award
  • 1999 Malcolm Research Award
  • 2000 Almgren Research Award
  • 2001 Almgren Research Award

  • Werry, E., Liu, G., Lovelace, M., Nagarajah, R., Hickie, I., Bennett, M. Lipopolysaccharide-Stimulated Interleukin-10 Release From Neonatal Spinal Cord Microglia is Potentiated by Glutamate. Neuroscience. 2011; 175:93-103.


  • Bennett, M., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. A Model of NMDA Receptor Control of F-actin Treadmilling in Synaptic Spines and Their Growth. Bulletin of Mathematical Biology. 2010; 0:0.
  • Bennett, M. Synapse regression in depression: the role of 5-HT receptors in modulating NMDA receptor function and synaptic plasticity. The Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2010; 44:301-308.


  • Bennett, M., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. P2X(7) regenerative-loop potentiation of glutamate synaptic transmission by microglia and astrocytes. Journal of theoretical biology. 2009; 261:1-16.
  • Nguyen, K., Shin, J., Rae, C., Nanitsos, E., Acosta, G., Pow, D., Buljan, V., Bennett, M., Else, P., Balcar, V. Rottlerin Inhibits (Na(+), K (+))-ATPase Activity in Brain Tissue and Alters D: -Aspartate Dependent Redistribution of Glutamate Transporter GLAST in Cultured Astrocytes. Neurochemical research. 2009; 34:1767-74.
  • Shin, J., Nguyen, K., Pow, D., Knight, T., Buljan, V., Bennett, M., Balcar, V. Distribution of Glutamate Transporter GLAST in Membranes of Cultured Astrocytes in the Presence of Glutamate Transport Substrates and ATP. Neurochemical research. 2009; 34:1758-66.
  • Bennett, M. Positive and negative symptoms in schizophrenia: the NMDA receptor hypofunction hypothesis, neuregulin/ErbB4 and synapse regression. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2009; 43:711-721.
  • Gunosewoyo, H., Coster, M., Bennett, M., Kassiou, M. Purinergic P2X(7) receptor antagonists: Chemistry and fundamentals of biological screening. Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry. 2009; 17:4861-5.
  • Liu, G., Nagarajah, R., Banati, R., Bennett, M. Glutamate induces directed chemotaxis of microglia. European Journal of Neuroscience. 2009; 29:1108-1118.
  • Bennett, M. Synapse formation and regression in the cortex during adolescence and in schizophrenia. The Medical Journal of Australia. 2009; 190:S14-S16.
  • Bennett, M. Criminal law as it pertains to ’’mentally incompetent defendants’’: a McNaughton rule in the light of cognitive neuroscience. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2009; 43:289-299.


  • Bennett, M., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. A quantitative model of cortical spreading depression due to purinergic and gap-junction transmission in astrocyte networks. Biophysical journal. 2008; 95:5648-60.
  • Gunosewoyo, H., Guo, J., Bennett, M., Coster, M., Kassiou, M. Cubyl amides: Novel P2X(7) receptor antagonists.Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters. 2008; 18:3720-3.
  • Hickie, I., Bennett, M. The brain and mind research institute: a unique campus for the integration of clinical and basic neurosciences in Australia. Australasian psychiatry : bulletin of Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. 2008; 16:169-172.
  • Bennett, M., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. Origins of the BOLD changes due to synaptic activity at astrocytes abutting arteriolar smooth muscle. Journal of Theoretical Biology. 2008; 252:123-130.
  • Bennett, M., Buljan, V., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. Purinergic junctional transmission and propagation of calcium waves in cultured spinal cord microglial networks. Purinergic signalling. 2008; 4:47-59.
  • Bennett, M., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. Origins of blood volume change due to glutamatergic synaptic activity at astrocytes abutting on arteriolar smooth muscle cells. Journal of theoretical biology. 2008; 250:172-85.
  • Bennett, M. Consciousness and hallucinations in schizophrenia: the role of synapse regression. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.2008; 42:915-931.
  • Bennett, M., Hacker, P. History of Cognitive Neuroscience. United Kingdom: Wiley-Blackwell, 2008.
  • Bennett, M. Dual constraints on synapse formation and regression in schizophrenia: neuregulin, neuroligin, dysbindin, DISC1, MuSK and agrin. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2008; 42:662-677.
  • Bennett, M. Stress and anxiety in schizophrenia and depression: glucocorticoids, corticotropin-releasing hormone and synapse regression. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2008; 42:995-1002.
  • Gibson, W., Farnell, L., Bennett, M. A quantitative model of ATP-mediated calcium wave propagation in astrocyte networks. In: Mathematical Modeling of Biological Systems: Epidemiology, Evolution and Ecology, Immunology, Neural Systems and the Brain, and Innovative Mathematical Methods: v. 2.Switzerland: Birkhauser 2008. p. 193-204.


  • Bennett, M. Development of the concept of mind. The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry. 2007; 41:943-56.
  • Bennett, M., Farnell, L., Gibson, W., Dickens, P. Mechanisms of calcium sequestration during facilitation at active zones of an amphibian neuromuscular junction. Journal of theoretical biology. 2007; 247:230-241.
  • Bennett, M. Synaptic P2X7 receptor regenerative-loop hypothesis for depression. The Australian and New Zealand journal of psychiatry. 2007; 41:563-71.
  • Bennett, M., Dennett, D., Hacker, P., Searle, J. Neuroscience and Philosophy: Brain, Mind, and Language. United States: Columbia University Press, 2007.
  • Bennett, M., Gibson, W., Farnell, L. A computational model relating changes in cerebral blood volume to synaptic activity in neurons. NEUROCOMPUTING. 2007; 70:1674-1679.


  • Bennett, M., Buljan, V., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. Purinergic junctional transmission and propagation of calcium waves in spinal cord astrocyte networks. Biophysical journal. 2006; 91:3560-71.
  • Werry, E., Liu, G., Bennett, M. Glutamate-stimulated ATP release from spinal cord astrocytes is potentiated by substance P. Journal of neurochemistry.2006; 99:924-36.
  • Bennett, M., Hacker, P. Language and cortical function: Conceptual developments. Progress in neurobiology. 2006; 80:20-52.
  • Liu, G., Kalous, A., Werry, E., Bennett, M. Purine Release from Spinal Cord Microglia Following Elevation of Calcium by Glutamate. Molecular pharmacology. 2006; 70:851-9.
  • Lin, Y., Bennett, M. Schwann cells in rat vascular autonomic nerves activated via purinergic receptors. Neuroreport.2006; 17:531-5.


  • Bennett, M., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. A quantitative model of purinergic junctional transmission of calcium waves in astrocyte networks. Biophysical journal. 2005; 89:2235-50.
  • Bennett, M., Farnell, L., Gibson, W. A quantitative description of the contraction of blood vessels following the release of noradrenaline from sympathetic varicosities. Journal of theoretical biology. 2005; 234:107-22.
  • Lin, Y., Bennett, M. Varicosity-Schwann cell interactions mediated by ATP in the mouse vas deferens. Journal of neurophysiology. 2005; 93:2787-96.
  • Lemon, G., Brockhausen, J., Li, G., Gibson, W., Bennett, M. Calcium mobilization and spontaneous transient outward current characteristics upon agonist activation of P2Y(2) receptors in smooth muscle cells. Biophysical Journal. 2005; 88:1507-1523. [Abstract]
  • Bennett, M., Hacker, P. Emotion and cortical-subcortical function: conceptual developments. Progress in neurobiology.2005; 75:29-52.
  • Liu, G., Werry, E., Bennett, M. Secretion of ATP from Schwann cells in response to uridine triphosphate. The European journal of neuroscience. 2005; 21:151-60.

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  • Postings

    Professor of Neuroscience, University Chair, Director Brain and Mind Research Institute
    University of Sydney