I received my PhD from the University of Otago medical school studying animal models of liver disease.  As a postdoctoral fellow at the NIH (Bethesda, MD) I pursued research to analyze the role of the gap junction protein connexin43 in regulating cell migration during embryonic development.  Later, as a staff scientist at the NIH I supervised cilia motility research utilizing nasal biopsies obtained from patients with heterotaxy and/or congenital heart disease.  As a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine I helped conduct/supervise a broad range of studies where a range of congenital heart disease associated genes were discovered, including the discovery of a significant correlation between cilia defects and the development of complex congenital heart disease.  I subsequently joined the Biomedical Imaging Facility at UNSW in Sydney to manage a range of core laboratories before moving to JCU where I’m pursuing research to better understand the mechanisms regulating motile cilia biology during health and disease.

Recent research data

 Current Honours/Masters/PhD projects:

 1)    The role of motile cilia in mucociliary clearance



  • BM1002: Anatomy and Physiology 1 (Level 1; TSV)
  • BM1210: Structure to Function: Cells to Systems (Level 1; TSV)
  • BM3000: Advanced Projects in Biomedicine (Level 3; TSV)
  • BM5000: Advanced Projects in Biomedicine (Level 5; TSV)
  • MD2011: Integrated Human System Pathophysiology Part 1 of 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • MD2012: Integrated Human System Pathophysiology Part 2 of 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • PP2101: Medical Physiology 1 (Level 2; TSV)
  • PP2201: Medical Physiology 2 (Level 2; TSV)
  • PP3101: Advanced and Integrated Physiology (Level 3; TSV)
  • PP3251: Systemic Pathophysiology and Therapeutics (Level 3; TSV)
  • PP5101: Advanced and Integrated Physiology (Level 5; TSV)
  • PP5251: Systemic Pathophysiology and Therapeutics (Level 5; TSV)
  • Motile cilia biology
  • Respiratory cilia physiology
  • Left-right body patterning
  • Congenital heart disease
  • Development of active learning skills in undergraduate student teaching
  • Fostering of good research practice in undergraduate and postgraduate student research
  • 2019 to present - Lecturer, James Cook University (Townsville, Australia)
  • 2014 to 2018 - Research Associate, University of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia)
  • 2009 to 2014 - Research Assistant Professor, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (Pittsburgh, PA)
  • 2008 to 2009 - Staff Scientist, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD)
  • 2003 to 2008 - Postdoctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health (Bethesda, MD)
  • 1999 to 2003 - Teaching Fellow, University of Otago Medical School (Otago, NZ)
  • 1998 to 2003 - PhD Student, University of Otago Medical School (Otago, NZ)
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2019 - Australian Physiological Society
  • 2008 - American Physiological Society
  • 2009 to 2014 - American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2009 to 2013 - Microscopy Society of America
  • 2004 to 2008 - American Society For Cell Biology
  • 1999 to 2003 - Physiological Society of New Zealand

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 20+ research outputs authored by Dr Richard Francis from 2014 onwards.


The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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  • 87.219, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences (Townsville campus)
  • 87.214, Veterinary & Biomedical Sciences (Townsville campus)
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