Associate Professor David Robertson

  • Role: Distinguished Scientist, Hudson Institute

Associate Professor Robertson is an expert in reproductive endocrinology and the role of hormones in disease. Renowned for his role in the initial isolation of inhibin and characterisation of its role in reproduction, his work on inhibin including assays specific to its various forms, resulted in the development of a clinical test for the detection of ovarian cancer in serum of postmenopausal women. This is now being adapted for use in commercial diagnostic laboratories in the USA.

As well as his work on inhibin, Associate Professor Robertson’s other contributions include key discoveries in the isolation, characterisation and measurement of hormones including follistatin, gonadotrophins and the elucidation of their roles in reproduction and cancer. This has included the development of assay systems to measure various hormones and formed strategic collaborations to apply these assays to a variety of clinical situations, such as in menopausal women, women with ovarian cancer, and in men undergoing new forms of hormonal contraception.

Selected publications

  • Detection of serum AMH in women approaching menopause using sensitive AMH ELISAs. Robertson DM, Kumar A, Kalra B, Shah S,  Pruysers E, Heidi Vanden Brink H, Chizen D, Visser JA, Themmen AP, Baerwald A. Menopause 2014 (in press)

  • Aberrant GDF9 expression and activation is associated with common human ovarian disorders. Simpson CM, Robertson DM, Al-Musawi SL, Heath DA, McNatty KP, Ritter LJ, Mottershead DG, Gilchrist RB, Harrison CA, Stanton PG. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2014 (in press)

  • The perimenopausal woman: Endocrinology and management. Hale GE, Robertson DM, Burger HG. J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014;142C:121-131

  • Use of detergent-based buffers allows detection of precursor inhibin forms in an immunoassay format. Walton KL, Chan KL, Pruysers E, Kelly EK, Harris G, Harrison CA, Robertson DM. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2013;381:106-14

  • Inhibins and activins in blood: predictors of female reproductive health? Robertson DM. Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2012;359:78-84

  • Feedback regulation by inhibins A and B of the pituitary secretion of follicle-stimulating hormone. Makanji Y, Harrison CA, Robertson DM. Vitam Horm. 2011;85:299-321.

  • The synthesis and secretion of inhibins. Walton KL, Makanji Y, Robertson DM, Harrison C. Vitam Horm. 2011;85:149-84.

  • Changes in serum antimüllerian hormone levels across the ovulatory menstrual cycle in late reproductive age. Robertson DM, Hale GE, Fraser IS, Hughes CL, Burger HG. Menopause. 2011 18:521-4

  • Post-translational modifications and protein-specific isoforms in endometriosis revealed by 2D DIGE. Stephens AN, Hannan NJ, Rainczuk A, Meehan KL, Chen J, Nicholls PK, Rombauts LJ, Stanton PG, Robertson DM, Salamonsen LA. J Proteome Res. 2010;9:2438-49

  • Proteomic characterization of midproliferative and midsecretory human endometrium. Chen JI, Hannan NJ, Mak Y, Nicholls PK, Zhang J, Rainczuk A, Stanton PG, Robertson DM, Salamonsen LA, Stephens AN. J Proteome Res. 2009; 8:2032-44

  • Inhibin B is a more potent suppressor of rat follicle-stimulating hormone release than inhibin a in vitro and in vivo. Makanji Y, Temple-Smith PD, Walton KL, Harrison CA, Robertson DM. Endocrinology. 2009 150:4784-93

  • Screening for the early detection of ovarian cancer. Robertson DM. Womens Health (Lond Engl). 2009 5:347-9

  • Ovarian status in healthy postmenopausal women: follow-up 12 months after transvaginal ultrasound. Bell RJ, Healy DL, Robertson DM, Jobling T, Oehler MK, Edwards A, Shekleton P, Oldham J, Piessens S, Teoh M, Mamers P, Taylor N, Walker F. Menopause. 2009 16:1149-55

  • Atypical estradiol secretion and ovulation patterns caused by luteal out-of-phase (LOOP) events underlying irregular ovulatory menstrual cycles in the menopausal transition. Hale GE, Hughes CL, Burger HG, Robertson DM, Fraser IS. Menopause. 2009 16:50-9

  • Interrelationships between ovarian and pituitary hormones in ovulatory menstrual cycles across reproductive age. Robertson DM, Hale GE, Jolley D, Fraser IS, Hughes CL, Burger HG. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 94:138-44