Melissa Benson

Dr Melissa Benson is the General Manager of Applied Cannabis Research and has significant experience in conducting clinical trials with medicinal cannabis products. Melissa has a PhD in Neuropharmacology from the University of Queensland and has completed postdoctoral fellowships focused on drug development in the fields of refractory epilepsy and cannabinoids. She has also completed postgraduate studies in intellectual property commercialisation. 

Melissa has managed sites for registration level pharmaceutical clinical trials (outside of cannabis) and was previously Clinical team leader at the Lambert Initiative for Cannabinoid Therapeutics based at the University of Sydney, where she oversaw development, start-up, and execution of clinical trials with medicinal cannabinoids.

Publications:

McCartney, D., Benson, M. J., Suraev, A. S., Irwin, C., Arkell, T. R., Grunstein, R. R., … & McGregor, I. S. (2020) The effect of cannabidiol on simulated car driving performance: A randomised, double‐blind, placebo‐controlled, crossover, dose‐ranging clinical trial protocol. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical and Experimental, e2749.

Benson, M. J., Abelev, S. V., Corte, C. J., Connor, S. J., & McGregor, I. S. (2020). Attitudes and knowledge of Australian gastroenterologists around use of medicinal cannabis for inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s & Colitis 360.

McCartney, D., Benson, M.J., Desbrow, B. et al. (2020). Cannabidiol and Sports Performance: a Narrative Review of Relevant Evidence and Recommendations for Future Research. Sports Med – Open 6, 27.

Benson, M. J., Abelev, S. V., Connor, S. J., Corte, C. J., Martin, L. J., Gold, L. K., … & McGregor, I. S. (2020). Medicinal Cannabis for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Survey of Perspectives, Experiences, and Current Use in Australian Patients. Crohn’s & Colitis 360, 2(2), otaa015.

Lintzeris, N., Mills, L., Suraev, A., Bravo, M., Arkell, T., Arnold, J. C., Benson, M.J. & McGregor, I. S. (2020). Medical cannabis use in the Australian community following introduction of legal access: the 2018–2019 Online Cross-Sectional Cannabis as Medicine Survey (CAMS-18). Harm Reduction Journal, 17(1), 1-12.

Suraev, A. S., Marshall, N. S., Vandrey, R., McCartney, D., Benson, M. J., McGregor, I. S., … & Hoyos, C. M. (2020). Cannabinoid therapies in the management of sleep disorders: a systematic review of preclinical and clinical studies. Sleep Medicine Reviews, 101339.

Benson MJ, Laukova M, Borges K, Veliskova J, Velisek L. (2020) Prenatal Betamethasone Exposure Increases Corticotropin-Releasing Factor Expression along with Increased Hippocampal Slice Excitability In the Developing Hippocampus. Epilepsy Research, 160 (106276).

Benson MJ & Cohen R. (2019) Does Medicinal Cannabis actually help Australian Patients? The answer may be hiding in plain sight. Health Europa Quarterly, 10; p188-191. [Invited Editorial]

Iacobaş DA, Chachua T, Iacobaş S, Benson MJ, Borges K, Velíšková J,  Velíšek L. (2018). ACTH and PMX53 recover synaptic transcriptome alterations in a rat model of infantile spasms. Scientific reports, 8(1), 5722.

Velíšková J*, Silverman JL*, Benson M*, Lenck-Santini PP.* (2018). Autistic traits in epilepsy models: Why, when and how? Epilepsy research, 144, 62-70. [*Equal first author; this review was used to develop an online quiz for clinicians; MD-IQ: MD Edge Neurology]

Benson MJ, Manzanero S, Borges K. (2017). The Effects of C5aR1 on leukocyte infiltration following pilocarpine-induced status epilepticus. Epilepsia, 58 (4), 54-58.

Benson MJ, Manzanero S, Borges K. (2015). Complex alterations in microglial M1/M2 markers during the development of epilepsy in two mouse models. Epilepsia, 56(6), 895-905.

Benson MJ, Thomas N, Talwar S, Hodson M, Lynch J, Woodruff TM, Borges K. (2015). A novel anticonvulsant mechanism via inhibition of complement receptor C5ar1 in murine epilepsy models. Neurobiology of disease, 76, 87-97.