Dr Ingvars Birznieks

Ingvars BirznieksAdjunct Researcher

Research Program: Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience (BENS)


Dr Ingvars Birznieks is a sensory neurophysiologist interested in sensory information encoding mechanisms. He received his PhD training in the world's leading laboratories in the field of somatosensory research led by Prof Roland S Johansson at the Umeå University in Sweden and Prof Antony W Goodwin at the Melbourne University. He has long standing teaching experience which begun at the Department of Human and Animal Physiology, University of Latvia where he was known for his passion teaching Sensory Physiology and Regulation Principles in Biological Systems. In 2005 he received prestigious Fellowship from the Swedish Medical Research Council to conduct postdoctoral research at the Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute (now Neuroscience Research Australia) with Prof Vaughan G Macefield. During his postdoctoral studies he committed to broaden his research competence to study the physiological mechanisms underlying development of chronic pain and the function of the autonomic nervous system.

After his postdoc studies, he was offered a position of senior research officer at NeuRA to contribute to the large scale cross-organisational project supported by Australian Government Special Research Initiative "Thinking Systems" – the project bringing together neuroscientists, biomedical engineers and roboticists. This project promoted advanced research in the field of his primary competence - tactile sensory control of dexterous manipulation and fostered his growth as independent researcher. The following National Competitive Grant success ($1.1m) enabled him to pursue his long time ambition to establish his own research network centred around the studies on neuronal information encoding mechanisms in the somatosensory system.

His current focus is cross-disciplinary projects linking neuroscience, clinical neurology, and biomedical engineering. From 2011 to 2014 he was Senior Lecturer (Human Physiology) at the School of Science and Health at Western Sydney University where he also joined the Biomedical Engineering and Neuroscience (BENS) research group at MARCS Institute. He is now Senior Research Fellow at the Neuroscience Research Australia(opens in a new window) and a Senior Lecturer in physiology in the School of Medical Sciences, at the University of New South Wales.

Research Interests

  • Information encoding by temporal structure of afferent spike trains evoked by complex vibrotactile stimuli
  • The effects of tonic muscle pain on the sympathetic and somatic motor systems in human subjects
  • Adaptation and aftereffects in perception of tactile motion

Qualifications and Honours

  • MBiol 
  • PhD (Med)


For a full listing of my publications, please see my personal publications page.(opens in a new window)