The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences
Phone:
(023) 8059 7651
Email:
voconno@soton.ac.uk

Professor Vincent O'Connor BSc(Hons), PhD

Professor of Neurochemistry, Principal Investigator (Synaptic transmission & signalling)

Professor Vincent O'Connor's photo
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Professor Vincent O'Connor is Professor of Neurochemistry within Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton.

Career history

2012-present: Professor in Neurochemistry. Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2008-2012: Reader. School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
2004-2008: Senior Lecturer. School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
1999-2004: Lecturer. School of Biological Sciences, University of Southampton, UK.
1997-1999: Post doctoral research fellow. Neurophysiology, National Institute for Medical Research, London, UK.
1992-1997: Post doctoral research fellow. Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, UK.

Academic qualifications

1992: PhD Physiology, Characterization of strychnine binding sites in the rodent spinal cord. University College London, UK.
1987: First Class BSc (Hons) in Physiology and Biochemistry. University of Reading, UK.

Research

Publications

Teaching

Contributions

Contact

Research interests

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.

PhD research

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).

Research group(s)

Biomedical Sciences

Affiliate research group(s)

Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, Southampton Neuroscience Group (SoNG), Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)

Research project(s)

Characterisation of cue-dependent behaviour in plant parasitic nematodes: the neurobiology of host plant invasion

The neurobiology of plant parasitic nematodes.

Generation of a screening platform for the Cys-loop superfamily of ligand gated ion channels

Structural/functional studies of the ligand binding domains of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors.

Bioinformatic identification and physiological analysis of ethanol-related genes in C. elegans - Dormant

Using the model organism, Caenorhabditis elegans, to investigate the broad molecular, cellular and systems level impacts of acute and chronic ethanol treatment.

Exploiting C. elegans to provide insight into neural substrates of human alcohol dependence

Changes in the pattern of behavior with increasing alcohol intake in humans reflect its complex effects on the brain.

Linking the immune system to the central nervous system: a role for antibodies and Fcγ receptors in neuronal damage.

Using immunocytochemistry, molecular biology and formal behavioural testing techniques we investigate antibody-mediated neuronal damage in lupus.

Mammalian Neurodegeneration

ME7 Synaptopathy model: a protein aggregation disease to model Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic neurodegeneration

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) models to investigate synaptic organization

Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlurs) are important determinants of glutamatergic transmission.

mGluRs model for genes to behaviour

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.

Plasticity of behaviour for good and bad

We have established facets of worm behaviour that can be readily measured in response to food withdrawal, a mimic of a starvation response.

Plasticity through scaffolding molecules

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.

Protein misfolding and the neuroprotective role of molecular chaperones

Molecular chaperones such as heat shock proteins (HSPs) regulate protein folding, misfolding, protein degradation and signalling pathways involved in neuronal death and survival.

Circadian Developmental Requirements

This project uses the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster to investigate the developmental role of the conserved circadian clock component CLOCK/CYCLE.

Article(s)

Conference(s)

Program Manager

Neuropharmacology of CNS disorders Pharmacology/Biochemistry

Module Co-ordinator

BIOL2016 Pharmacology A
BIOL3021 Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Lecturer  

BIOL2014 Neuroscience  
BIOL2016 Pharmacology  A
BIOL3014 Molecular Cell Biology  
BIOL3021 Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience  
BIOL2017 Pharmacology B 
BIOL3018 Molecular Pharmacology 
BIOL3025 Neuropharmacology of CNS disorders  
BIOL3048 Neurodegenerative Diseases 

Professional Affiliations

External Reviewer and Board Chair for Research Council Norway
Royal Society International project board member
Editorial Board Journal of Biological Chemistry
Review Editor Invertebrate Neuroscience

Professor Vincent O'Connor
Biological Sciences Faculty of Natural & Environmental Sciences Life Sciences Building 85 University of Southampton Highfield Campus Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 85/3049

Telephone: (023) 8059 7651
Email: voconno@soton.ac.uk

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