Molecular Precision Mental Health

Molecular Precision Mental Health

Dr. Timothy Couttas, PhD
Lecturer, Faculty of Medicine and Health
Research Fellow

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Academic Education:
2003 to 2007
Bachelor of Science (Honours Class I), University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
2009 to 2011
Graduate Certificate - Research Management & Commercialisation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
2008 to 2012
PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, Systems Biology Initiative, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Doctoral thesis (Ph.D.):
2012
"Lysine methylation in the interactive of the Saccharomyces cerevisiae", Systems Biology Initiative, School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
Professional activity:
2007 to 2008
Research Assistant, Diabetes and Obesity Research Program, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, Australia
2012 to 2014
Research Associate, Metabolite Signalling Group, Prince of Wales Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
2015 to 2016
Supervising Scientist/2IC, Toxicology and Special Chemistry Unit, Laverty Pathology, Macquarie Park, Australia
2016 to 2020
NHMRC-ARC Dementia Research Development Fellow, Senior Research Officer, Lipid Metabolism and Neurochemistry Laboratory, Centenary Institute, Conjoint Lecturer, Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney and Prince of Wales Clinical School, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
since 2020
Lecturer and Research Fellow, Molecular Precision Mental Health Group, Brain and Mind Centre and Charles Perkins Centre, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
Publications:

  • T. A. Couttas, B. Jieu, C. Rohleder, F. M. Leweke. Mini review: Current state of fluid lipid biomarkers for personalized diagnostics and therapeutics in schizophrenia spectrum disorders and related psychoses. Front Psychiatry, 2022, 13:885904
  • T. A. Couttas, C. Boost, F. Pahlisch, E. B. Sykorova, D. Koethe, J. E. Leweke, H. Endepols, C. Rohleder, F. M. Leweke. Simultaneous assessment of serum levels and pharmacologic effects of cannabinoids on endocannabinoids and N-acylethanolamines by liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometry. Cannabis Cannabinoid Res, 2022, epub ahead
  • G. Ali, Y. Huang, M. L. Ng, W. Wang, T. Lan, M. Li, Y. Li, Q. Chen, R. Li, S. Yan, C. Tran, J. G. Burchfield, T. A. Couttas, J. Chen, L. H. Chung, D. Liu, C. Wadham, P. J. Hogg, X. Gao, M. A. Vadas, J. R. Gamble, A. S. Don, P. Xia, Y. Qi. Regulation of hepatic insulin signaling and glucose homeostasis by sphingosine kinase 2. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2020, 117(39):24434-24442
  • T. A. Couttas, Y. H. Rustam, H. Song, Y. Qi, J. D. Teo, J. Chen, G. E. Reid, A. S. Don. A Novel Function of Sphingosine Kinase 2 in the Metabolism of Sphinga-4,14-Diene Lipids. Metabolites, 2020, 10(6):236
  • M. Lei, J. D. Teo, H. Song, H. P. McEwen, J. Yup Lee, T. A. Couttas, T. Duncan, R. Chesworth, J. Bertz, M. Przybyla, J. Van Eersel, B. Heng, G. J. Guillemin, L. M. Ittner, T. Fath, B. Garner, A. Ittner, T. Karl, A. S. Don. Sphingosine Kinase 2 Potentiates Amyloid Deposition but Protects against Hippocampal Volume Loss and Demyelination in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease. J Neurosci, 2019, 39(48):9645-9659
  • C. Tran, B. Heng, J. D. Teo, S. J. Humphrey, Y. Qi, T. A. Couttas, H. Stefen, M. Brettle, T. Fath, G. J. Guillemin, A. S. Don. Sphingosine 1-phosphate but not Fingolimod protects neurons against excitotoxic cell death by inducing neurotrophic gene expression in astrocytes. Journal of Neurochemistry, 2020, 153(2):173-188
  • M. Lei, J. D. Teo, H. Song, H. P. McEwen, J. Y. Lee, T. A. Couttas, T. Duncan, R. Chesworth, J. Bertz, M. Przybyla, J. Van Eersel, B. Heng, G. J. Guillemin, L. M. Ittner, T. Fath, B. Garner, A. Ittner, T. Karl, A. S. Don. Sphingosine Kinase 2 Potentiates Amyloid Deposition but Protects against Hippocampal Volume Loss and Demyelination in a Mouse Model of Alzheimer's Disease. Journal of Neuroscience. 2019, 39(48):9645-9659
  • A.M. Lemay, O. Courtemanche, T.A. Couttas, G. Jamsari, A. Gagné, Y. Bossé, P. Joubert, A. S. Don, D. Marsolais. High FA2H and UGT8 transcript levels predict hydroxylated hexosylceramide accumulation in lung adenocarcinoma. Journal of Lipid Research. 2019, 60(10): 1776-1786
  • N. Turner, X. Y. Lim, H. D Toop, B. Osborne, A. E. Brandon, E. N Taylor, C. E. Fiveash, H. Govindaraju, J. Teo, H. P. McEwen, T. A. Couttas, S. M. Butler, A. Das, G. M. Kowalski, C. R. Bruce, K. L. Hoehn, T. Fath, Ca. Schmitz-Peiffer, G. J. Cooney, M. K. Montgomery, J. C. Morris, A. S. Don. A selective inhibitor of ceramide synthase 1 reveals a novel role in fat metabolism. Nature Communications. 2018, 21;9(1): 3165-3171
  • T. A. Couttas, N. Kain, C. Tran, Z Chatterton, J. B. Kwok, A. S. Don. Age-Dependent Changes to Sphingolipid Balance in the Human Hippocampus are Gender-Specific and May Sensitize to Neurodegeneration. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. 2018, 63(2): 503-514
  • J. Chen, Y. Qi, Y. Zhao, D. Kaczorowski, T. A. Couttas, P. R. Coleman, A. S. Don, P. Bertolino, J. R. Gamble, M. A. Vadas, P. Xia, G. W. McCaughan. Deletion of sphingosine kinase 1 inhibits liver tumorigenesis in diethylnitrosamine-treated mice. Oncotarget. 2018, 26;9(21): 15635-15649
  • M. Lei, A. Shafiquea, K. Shang, T. A. Couttas, H. Zhao, A. S. Don, T. Karl. Contextual fear conditioning is enhanced in mice lacking functional sphingosine kinase 2. Behavioural Brain Research, 2017, 333: 9-16
  • T. A. Couttas, N. Kain, A. K. Suchowerska, L. E. Quek, N. Turner, T. Fath, B. Garner, A. S. Don. Loss of ceramide synthase 2 activity, necessary for myelin biosynthesis, precedes tau pathology in the cortical pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. Neurobiololgy of Aging, 2016, 43: 89-100
  • T. A. Couttas, A. S. Don. Fluorescent Assays for Ceramide Synthase Activity. Book Chapter, Methods in Molecular Biology, 2016, 1376: 23-33
  • T. A. Couttas, X. Y. Lim, A. S. Don. A three-step assay for ceramide synthase activity using a fluorescent substrate and HPLC. Lipids, 2015, 50 (1): 101-109
  • A. S. Don, J-H. T. Hsiao, J. M. Bleasel, T. A. Couttas, G. M. Halliday, and W. S. Kim. Altered lipid levels provide evidence for myelin dysfunction in multiple system atrophy. Acta Neuropatholgica Communications, 2014. 2(1): 150
  • T. A. Couttas, N. Kain, B. Daniels, X. Y. Lim, C. Shepherd, J. Kril, R. Pickford, H. Li, B. Garner, A. S. Don. Loss of the Neuroprotective Factor Sphingosine 1-Phosphate Early in Alzheimer's Disease Pathogenesis. Acta Neuropatholgica Communications, 2014. 2(1): 9
  • A. S. Don , X. Y. Lim, T. A. Couttas. Re-Configuration of Sphingolipid Metabolism by Oncogenic Transformation. Biomolecules (review), 2014. 4(1): p.315-53
  • T. A. Couttas, M. J. Raftery, M. P. Padula, B. R. Herbert, M. R. Wilkins. Methylation of translation- associated proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: identification of methylated lysines and their methyltransferases. Proteomics, 2012. 12(7): 960-72
  • T. A. Couttas, M. J. Raftery, M. A. Erce, and M. R. Wilkins. Monitoring Cytoplasmic Protein Complexes with Blue Native Gel Electrophoresis and Stable Isotope Labelling with Amino Acids in Cell Culture: Analysis of Changes in the 20s Proteasome. Electrophoresis, 2011. 32(14): p. 1819-23
  • T. A. Couttas, M. J. Raftery, G. Bernardini, and M. R. Wilkins. Immonium Ion Scanning for the Discovery of Post-Translational Modifications and Its Application to Histones. Journal of Proteome Research, 2008. 7(7): p. 2632-41