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Department of Chiropractic


Associate Professor Subramanyam Vemulpad
BSc (Bangalore), MSc (Madras), PhD (Delhi), MASM


Phone: +61 2 9850 9385
Fax: + 61 2 9850 9389

Associate Professor Subramanyam Vemulpad is a medical microbiologist, with wide ranging experience in public health and infectious diseases. Prior to his arrival at Macquarie in May 2000, Dr Vemulpad worked for the NSW Public Health (1996–2000). His overseas experience includes as a foundation academic at the University College of Medicine, Malawi (1994-1996) and the Regional Medical Research Centre, Bhubaneswar (Indian Council of Medical Research; 1984-1994).

Courses convened and taught:

HLTH215 (Principles in Health and Disease)

HLTH304 (Radiographic Physics, Practice and Protection)

HLTH306 (Research Methods for Health Sciences)

Other Responsibilities:


  •  Best Researcher Award 2013 (Chiropractors' Association of Australia, NSW)
  • 2011 Australian Learning and Teaching Council Awards for University Teaching (Programs that Enhance Learning). Indigenous Science Education Program. A/Prof. Joanne Jamie, Dr Ian Jamie, A/Prof Subramanyam Vemulpad and Mr David Harrington.

  • 2010 MQ Excellence in External Research Partnership. Collaborative research partnership between Chungtia village of Nagaland and Macquarie University to work on traditional medicinal plants.  *Meza Meyanungsan, J Jamie, S Vemulpad, J Kohen & Chungtia Senso Mokokchung Town (CSMT), Mokokchung: Nagaland, India.

  • Finalist, 2009 Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science (Indigenous Science Education Program. J Jamie, S Vemulpad, I Jamie & D Harrington)

  • Finalist, 2008 Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science (Indigenous Science Education Program. J Jamie, S Vemulpad, I Jamie & D Harrington)

  • Finalist, 2007 Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science (Engaging Indigenous Secondary Students in Science. J Jamie,  S Vemulpad, J Kohen & D Harrington)

  • 2007 Macquarie University Innovation award for Innovative Partnerships (Science Education Program: Engaging Indigenous Students. J Jamie, S Vemulpad, J Kohen, I Jamie & D Harrington)

  • 2007 Macquarie University Community Engagement Award (Indigenous Science Education Program: Engaging Indigenous Students. J Jamie, I Jamie, S Vemulpad, J Kohen & D Harrington

Research interests: Associate Professor Vemulpad’s research interests include infectious diseases, plant products as antimicrobial agents, best practice in collaborating with Indigenous communities and complementary and alternate medicine (CAM). He is a foundation Co-Director of the Indigenous Bioresources Research Group at Macquarie University. The group’s major objectives are to systematically document first-hand traditional medicinal plant knowledge of Indigenous people using best ethical practices, and to apply this knowledge to identifying medicinally important compounds by targeted chemical and biological studies. This research has been supported by grants from the National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) and the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

Associate Professor Vemulpad has established valuable interdisciplinary collaborations with medicinal chemist Associate Professor Joanne Jamie and Physicist Professor Ewa Goldys, to pursue his research interests in the broad areas of infectious diseases and applied microbiology (diagnostic potential of autofluorescence of clinical samples) and complementary and alternate medicine.

Recent publications (2008-2012 only; full list can be viewed at PublicationsList or at ResearcherID):

Books/edited volumes:

  • Packer J, Gaikwad J, Harrington D, Ranganathan S, Jamie J, Vemulpad S. Medicinal Plants of New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Chapter 11, p 259-296. In: Singh RJ, editor. Genetic Resources, Chromosome Engineering, and Crop Improvement Series: Medicinal Crops CRC Press; 2012.

  • Vemulpad, S. Case study: Reactive arthritis. pp 123-125 and 456-460. In Case Studies for the Physical and Manipulative Therapies. R. Beirman, Editor. 2012, Elsevier, Australia.

  • Indigenous Bioresources Research Group (Joanne Packer, Dave Harrington, Jitendra Gaikwad, Shoba Ranganathan, Subramanyam, et al. (2011). Yaegl Medicinal and Plant Resources Handbook. Sydney, Macquarie University.

  • Gaikwad, J., et al., Combining Ethnobotany and Informatics to Discover Knowledge from Data, in Ethnomedicinal Plants: Revitalization of Traditional Knowledge of Herbs, M. Rai, D. Acharya, and J.L. Rios, Editors. 2010, Science Publishers: Enfield, USA.


  • Lawson, T., S. Vemulpad, R. Connally and J. Piper. "Dimethyl formamide-free urea-NaCl fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay for Staphylococcus aureus." Letters in Applied Microbiology. 2012. 54: 263-266.

  • Packer, J., N. Brouwer, D. Harrington, J. Gaikwad, R. Heron, Y. A. Elders, S. Ranganathan, S. Vemulpad and J. Jamie. "An Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants used by the Yaegl Aboriginal community in Northern New South Wales, Australia." Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2012. 139(1): 244-255.

  • Lawson TS, Connally RE, Vemulpad S, Piper JA. In silico evaluation and testing of fluorescence in situ hybridization 16S rRNA probes for Staphylococcus aureus. LabMedicine. 2011 42(12): 729-734.

  • Lawson, T., R. Connally, S. Vemulpad, J. Piper and J. Iredell. "In reference to targeted imaging modality selection for bacterial biofilms in chronic rhinosinusitis and different biofilms, different disease? a clinical outcomes study." The Laryngoscope 2011, 121(9): 2043-2044.

  • Lawson TS, Connally RE, Vemulpad S, Piper JA. Express fluorescence in situ hybridization methods for the detection of Staphylococcus aureus. Clinical Laboratory. 2011 57(9-10): 789-794.

  • Lawson T, Connally R, Piper JA, Vemulpad S. Optimization of a two-step permeabilization fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) assay for the detection of Staphylococcus aureus. Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis. 2011 25(5): 359-365.

  • Engel R, Vemulpad S. The role of spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy and exercise in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – a review of the literature and proposal of an anatomical explanation. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2011 17(9): 797–801.

  • Dougherty P, Engel R, Vemulpad S. The use of spinal manipulative therapy for elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): a case series. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. 2011 34(6): 413-417.

  • Lawson T, Connally R, Iredell J, Vemulpad S, Piper J. Detection of Staphylococcus aureus with a fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) that does not require lysostaphin. Journal of Clinical Laboratory Analysis. 2011;25(2):6.

  • Sandeep, P.M., et al., The influence of indoxyl sulfate and ammonium on the autofluorescence of human urine. Talanta (The International Journal of Pure and Applied Analytical Chemistry), 2010. 80: p. 1269-1276.

  • Perinchery, S.M., et al., The potential of autofluorescence spectroscopy to detect human urinary tract infection. Talanta, 2010. 82(3): p. 6.

  • Downie, A., P. Bull, and S. Vemulpad, Quantifying the HVLA spinal manipulative thrust: a systematic review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2010. 33: p. 542-553.

  • Anwer, A.G., et al., Distinctive autofluorescence of urine samples from individuals with bacteriuria compared with normals. Clin Chim Acta (International Jour of Clinical Chemistry and Diagnostic Laboratory Medicine), 2009. 401(1-2): p. 73-5.

  • Engel, R.M. and S. Vemulpad, Progression to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): Could it be prevented by manual therapy and exercise during the 'at risk' stage (stage 0)? Med Hypotheses, 2009. 72(3): p. 288-90.

  • Grace, S., et al., CAM Practitioners In Integrative Practice In New South Wales, Australia: A Descriptive Study. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, 2008. 16(1): p. 42-46.

  • Dzeha, T., et al., Phytochemical characterisation of the Australian (Aboriginal) medicinal plant Dolichandrone heterophylla and influence of selected isolated compounds on human keratinocytes. Natural Product Communications, 2008. 3(9): p. 1387-1394.

  • Gaikwad, J., et al., CMKb: a web-based prototype for integrating Australian Aboriginal customary medicinal plant knowledge. BMC Bioinformatics, 2008. 9 Suppl 12: p. S25.

  • Vemulpad, S. and J. Jamie, Partnerships in Traditional Medicinal Plant Research, in Issues. 2008. p. 45-48.

  • Engel, R., R. McNeil, and S. Vemulpad, Authors' reply. Focus on Alternative and Complementary Medicine (FACTS), 2008, 13: 241-243.

  • Engel, R.M. and S.R. Vemulpad, Immediate effects of osteopathic manipulative treatment in elderly patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. J Am Osteopath Assoc, 2008. 108(10): p. 541-2; author reply 542.

Updated 11 March 2013 



Associate Professor Subramanyam Vemulpad