Molecular mechanism of synaptic function and dysfunction
- Synaptic degeneration
- Genetic models of synaptic and neuronal dysfunction.
- Molecular regulation of behaviour in model organism C.elegans.
- Translating understanding in basic neurobiology to drug regulation to clinical conditions.
- Translating understanding in basic neurobiology to chemical regulation of animal and plant parasites.
Stress pathways: cause and effect in the ME7 model of neurodegeneration. (MRC/GKCT).
Food adaptive feeding behaviour the role of neuropeptide modulation (GKCT).
Mode of action studies for a novel anthelminthic (Industrial funding; Makhteshim-Agan).
Investigation potential anthelmintic compounds using C.elegans anthelminthic (Industrial funding; Bayer).
Novel microfluidic devices for functional investigation of C.elegans (University Funding).
Small heat shock protein regulation in protein folding induced neurodegeneration).
Affiliate research group(s)
Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Southampton Neuroscience Group (SoNG), Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)
The neurobiology of plant parasitic nematodes.
Structural/functional studies of the ligand binding domains of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.
Using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, to investigate the broad molecular, cellular and systems level impacts of acute and chronic ethanol treatment.
Changes in the pattern of behavior with increasing alcohol intake in humans reflect its complex effects on the brain.
Using immunocytochemistry, molecular biology and formal behavioural testing techniques we investigate antibody-mediated neuronal damage in lupus.
We are using a mouse model of prion disease which like Alzheimer’s is associated with the extracellular deposition of misfolded protein and an accompanying loss of synapses.
Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlurs) are important determinants of glutamatergic transmission.
These receptors are evolutionary conserved and we have been able to investigate how these molecules control simple behaviours in the 302 neuronal cell (aprox 6000 synapse) simple nervous system of C.elegans.
We have established facets of worm behaviour that can be readily measured in response to food withdrawal, a mimic of a starvation response.
The classic model used to study long-term changes is long-term potentiation (LTP), in the hippocampus. It is thought that the molecular changes that occur to bring about LTP are important for learning and memory.
Molecular chaperones such as heat shock proteins (HSPs) regulate protein folding, misfolding, protein degradation and signalling pathways involved in neuronal death and survival.
This project uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the developmental role of the conserved circadian clock component CLOCK/CYCLE.
Professor Vincent O'Connor
Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Room Number: 85/3049
Telephone: (023) 8059 7651