Profile – Prof John Funder AC

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Professor John Funder AC

Prof John Funder AC MD BS PhD FRACP FRCP LLD (Hon Monash University), DMedSci (Hon University of Melbourne), MD (Hon. University of Sydney)
Senior Fellow





Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute of Medical Research
Professor, Department of Medicine, Monash University
Professorial  Associate, Centre for Neuroscience, The University of Melbourne
Honorary Professor, Institute of Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland


Professor Funder joined Prince Henry’s Medical Research Centre in 1973 where he went from Senior Research Fellow to Senior Principal Research and Deputy Director. In 1990 he became Director of the Baker Institute in Melbourne and upon his ‘retirement’ in 2001 he became a Senior Fellow at Prince Henry’s Institute.

From 2008 to 2011 he was Director of Research Strategy at Southern Health (now Monash Health), Victoria largest health service.

Research Interests:

For the last 40 years, Professor Funder’s area of research has been in studying aldosterone, the salt-retaining (mineralocorticoid) hormone, and the role of the mineralocorticoid receptor in organs such as the kidney.

Over the past decade his clinical and basic studies at PHI, and elsewhere, have demonstrated the roles of both hormone and receptor in hypertension and heart failure.

John has served as a link between endocrinology and cardiology, and is internationally acknowledged as leading an exciting new era of hitherto unexpected roles for mineralocorticoid receptors across a spectrum of disease states.

He has published over 500 scientific papers.


Aldosterone, hypertension, steroid receptors, heart failure, research governance, research advocacy.

Current Research:

Professor Funder has active research collaborations at Hudson Institute of Medical Research (especially the Cardiovascular Endocrinology and Steroid Receptor Biology laboratories), the University of Sydney, with colleagues in the US and Europe, and in the pharmaceutical sectors.

Recent Achievements:

2014 –    Degree of Doctor of Medicine honoris causa (University of Sydney)
2014 –    ISH Tigerstedt Lifetime Achievement Award at the September 2014 ISH/ESH Meeting in Athens
2013 –    Degree of Doctor of Medical Science honoris causa (University of Melbourne)
2013 –    The Endocrine Society Robert H. Williams Award for Distinguished Leadership
2010 –    Degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa (Monash University)
2010 –    Research Australia Leadership and Innovation Award
2009 –    Royal College of Physicians Fellowship (by invitation)
2008 –    Novartis Prize, American Heart Association

Service to the Scientific Community:

  • 2014 –    Advisory Board, Institute of Molecular Bioscience, University of Queensland; Chair, Scientific Advisory Board)
  • 2014 –    Consultant, Narrow River Management LP, New York, USA
  • 2013 –    Chair, Taskforce for Revision of Guidelines for Management of Primary Aldosteronism, The Endocrine Society
  • 2008-2012 – Chair, Scientific Advisory Board, National Research Centre for Growth and Development, New Zealand Committee Membership (selected)
  • 2010-2012 – Member, Schering Plough/Merck Science Alliance
  • 2010-2011 – Chair, Commonwealth Government Working Group on Clinical Trials: 7.30 Report
  • 2008-2010 – Chair, Medicine Research Infrastructure Panel, OSMR, NSW
  • 2008 to present – Director, Grattan Institute
  • 2004-2009 – Member Judging Panel, Victorian Premier’s Award for Medical Research
  • 2002-2008 – Chair, International Taskforce, Endocrine Society, USA


Current Editorial Boards:

2009 –     Endocrinology
2003 –     Current Trends in Endocrinology
2002-2014 – Hypertension
2000-2014 – Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism
1998 –     Encyclopaedia of Endocrine Diseases
1995 –     NeuroImmuno Modulation
1995 –     Stress
1991 –     Current Opinion in Endocrinology
1986 –    Steroids
1983-     Journal of Endocrinological Investigation
1980-2014- Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Society Membership:

Research Australia (Board Member 2001-2004; 2004 Honorary Life Member)
Australian Endocrine Society (Treasurer 1978-80; Vice President 1980-82; President 1982-84; Honorary Life Member 2003)
Australian Society for Medical Research (Director 1974; Secretary 1975; Treasurer 1976; President 1979; Honorary Life Member 2003)
High Blood Pressure Research Council of Australia
International Society of Hypertension
Endocrine Society, USA (Emertius Member 2005)
Society of Endocrinology, UK (Honorary Life Member 2005)

Selected Publications:

Circulatory and humoral changes in the reversal of renovascular hypertension in sheep by unclipping the renal artery. Funder, J.W., Blair‑West, J.R., Cain, M.D., Catt, K.J., Coghlan, J.P., Denton, D.A., Nelson, J.F., Scoggins, B.A. and Wright, R.D. Circulation Research, 1970 Citations: 29 Impact Factor: 11.089

Hormone receptors. Baxter, J.D. and Funder, J.W. New England Journal of Medicine, 1979 Citations: 259 Impact Factor: 54.42

All really great lies are half true. – Editorial Funder, J.W. Science, 1979 Citations: Not available for editorials Impact Factor: 31.477

Renal mineralocorticoid receptors and hippocampal corticosterone binding species have identical intrinsic steroid specificity. Krozowski, Z.S. and Funder, J.W. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA, 1983 Citations: 494 Impact Factor: 9.809

Adrenal steroids: New answers, new questions. Funder, J.W. Science, 1987 Citations: 31 Impact Factor: 31.477Mineralocorticoid action: target-tissue specificity is enzyme, not receptor, mediated. Funder, J.W., Pearce, P.T., Smith, R. and Smith, A.I. Science, 1988 Citations: 1,295 Impact Factor: 31.477

Mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, receptors and response elements. Funder, J.W. Science, 1993 Citations: 148 Impact Factor: 31.477

Aldosterone Action In: Annual Review of Physiology, J.F. Hoffman, P. De Weer (eds). Annual Reviews Inc, Palo Alto, vol 55, pp 115‑130. Funder, J.W. Annual Reviews Inc. Palo Alto, 1993 Citations: 74 Impact Factor: 14.696

Steroids, receptors, response elements: the limits of signal specificity.  Funder, J.W. Recent Progress in Hormone Research, 1991 Citations: 16 Impact Factors: 9.073

A mutation in the HSD11B2 gene in a family with apparent mineralocorticoid excess. Wilson, R.C., Krozowski, Z.S., Li, K., Obeyesekere, V., Razzaghy-Azar, M., Harbison, M.D., Wei, J.Q., Shackleton, C.H.L., Funder, J.W. and New, M.I. Journal of Clinical

Endocrinology & Metabolism, 1995 Citations: 184 Impact Factor: 6.31Glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors: biology and clinical relevance. Funder, J.W. Annual Review of Medicine, 1997 Citations: 165 Impact Factor: 15.478

A transgenic model of aldosterone-driven cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. Qin, W., Rudolph, A.E., Bond, B.R., Rocha, R., Blomme, E.A., Goellner, J.J., Funder, J.W. and McMahon, E.G. Cell Research, 2003 Citations: 150 Impact Factor: 11.089

Distinguishing the anti-hypertensive and electrolyte effects of eplerenone. Levy, D.G., Rocha, R. and Funder, J.W. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2004 Citations: 57 Impact Factor: 6.31

Eplerenone, but not steroid withdrawal, reverses cardiac fibrosis in DOC/salt rats. Young, M. and Funder, J.W. Endocrinology, 2004 Citations: 68 Impact Factor: 4.644

RALES, EPHESUS and redox. Funder, J.W. Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 2005. Citations: 71 Impact Factor: 4.049

The nongenomic actions of aldosterone. Funder, J.W. Endocrine Reviews, 2005 Citations: 107 Impact Factor: 19.358

Case detection, diagnosis and treatment of patients with primary aldosteronism: an Endocrine Society Clinical Practice Guideline. Funder, J.W., Carey, R.M., Fardella, C., Gomez-Sanchez, C.E., Mantero, F., Stowasser, M., Young, W.F., Jr, Montori, V.M.:

Endocrine Society. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2008. Citations: 544 Impact Factor: 6.31

Deletion of mineralocorticoid receptors from macrophages protects against deoxycorticosterone/salt-induced cardiac fibrosis and increased blood pressure. Rickard, A.J., Morgan, J., Tesch, G., Funder, J.W., Fuller, P.J., Young, M.J. Hypertension, 2009 Citations: 92 Impact Factor: 7.632

The genetics of primary aldosteronism. Funder, J.W. Science, 2011 Citations: 13 Impact Factor: 31.477

Angiotensin retains sodium by dephosphorylating mineralocorticoid receptors in renal intercalated cells. Funder, J.W. Cell Metabolism, 2013 Citations: 0 Impact Factor: 16.747