Associate Professor John O'Sullivan

Academic Title-Associate Professor

UQ Centre for Clinical Research
Faculty of Medicine


After completing neurology training at the Royal Brisbane & Women’s Hospital, A/Prof O’Sullivan completed Fellowships in Movement Disorders at the Austin & Repatriation Medical Centre, Melbourne then the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, and Middlesex Hospital in London, UK. He was awarded a doctorate in Medicine from Melbourne University in 2000 for studies into surgery for Parkinson’s disease. He returned to Royal Brisbane & Women's Hospital (RBWH) and set up the Movement Disorders Clinical Service including botulinum toxin and later Friedreich's ataxia clinics, and co-ordinating the Huntington's disease multidisciplinary clinic. Through these clinics he has established collaborations with local, interstate and international researchers in the fields of Parkinson's disease, movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. He is currently Associate Professor of Medicine and Principal Research Fellow at UQ Centre for Clinical Research, previously Royal Brisbane and Uniting Care Health Clinical Units in UQ School of Clinical Medicine. He is also Senior Research Fellow at Wesley Medical Research. A/Prof O'Sullivan is on the Board of the Clem Jones Centre for Ageing Dementia Research and is currently President of the Movement Disorders Society of Australia and New Zealand (MDSANZ), having previously served as Chair of the MDSANZ Clinical Trials and Research Group.

Research Interests

  • Non-motor features of Parkinson's disease
    This research involves studies into depression, anxiety and cognitive function in Parkinson's disease in collaboration with Dr Nadeeka Dissanayaka, Prof Gerard Byrne, Dr Nancy Pachana & Dr Rodney Marsh
  • Sleep in neurodegenerative diseases
    These studies in collaboration with Dr Susanna Mantovani, Dr Simon Smith, Dr Jane Nikles and Wesley Medical Research explore novel aspects involving sleep in Parkinson's, Huntington's and motor neurone diseases and Friedreich's ataxia
  • Exercise in Parkinson's disease
    In collaboration with Prof Sandy Brauer, Dr Robyn Lamont, Prof Jeff Coombes and Wesley Medical Research, studies exploring maintenance of exercise, gait and boxing in Parkinson's disease.
  • Novel compounds and clinical trials in neurodegenerative diseases
    Research involves novel compounds and repurposed drugs for treatment and disease-modification in Parkinson's and motor neurone diseases in collaboration with Dr Richard Gordon, A/Prof Trent Woodruff, A/Prof Rob Henderson, Prof Pam McCombe and Wesley Medical Research.

Research Impacts

A/Prof O’Sullivan’s novel investigator-initiated clinical trial in Parkinson’s disease (PD) (Mov Dis 2007; 22:1543-9) is cited in the American Academy of Neurology Practice Parameters and MDS Evidence Based Medicine Review of Management of Non-motor symptoms in PD. The initial description of syndrome of Dopamine Dysregulation in PD (JNNP 2000; 68:423-428) complicating dopamine replacement therapy in some patients with Parkinson’s disease has led to widespread recognition of the syndrome, and this paper has had more than 360 citations. The Movement Disorders Society revision of the Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS–UPDRS) includes a section to address features of the dopamine dysregulation syndrome as a result of this. This research has also contributed to debate about addiction in general (Addiction. 2012;107(2):253).


  • MD, University of Melbourne
  • MBBS, The University of Queensland


View all Publications


Journal Article

Conference Publication

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Completed Supervision