UQ Profile

Drew Cylinder, MPhil Student

About me

I am originally from California but, since receiving my bachelor’s degree, I have been working in labs in New Zealand and Australia. I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of California Davis, receiving my Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology with a minor in Evolution, Ecology, and Biodiversity. After graduation, I completed a summer research project at the Cawthron Institute in Nelson, New Zealand with the support of a scholarship from the University of Auckland. While at the Cawthron Institute, I investigated using potassium to mitigate the effects of thallium toxicity. I subsequently worked as a laboratory technician in Dr. Tony Hickey’s lab at the University of Auckland where I participated in research investigating mitochondria function under anoxic conditions in the brains of several species of fish in the family Trypterygiidae.


I am currently working on my MPhil thesis in the van Swinderen lab, investigating the mechanisms underlying general anaesthesia. General anaesthetics have two main targets: GABAergic neurons, which are an integral part of endogenous sleep pathways, and presynaptic vesicle release machinery. My research aims to assess the effects of the general anaesthetic propofol on these two targets using adult and larval flies as model organisms.


When not in lab, I can be found either playing violin or wandering about the bush in search of unusual Australian animals.