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Centre for Biological Sciences

Research Group: Biomedical Sciences

Currently Active: 

This theme brings together a strategic commitment to Neurosciences and Developmental Biology which, as part of University-wide interdisciplinary initiatives, is addressing fundamental issues relevant to national and global priorities of health and well-being. The theme underpins biomedical research in the area of basic neuroscience and developmental biology through to neurodegenerative and metabolic diseases within the ageing process and poor health derived from in utero environmental conditions. The theme operates within the context of the Institute for Life Sciences, which drives an agenda linking research across Faculties spanning basic mechanisms to translational, clinical programmes.  

Group Overview


The commonality of the molecular and cellular mechanisms of nervous system function across the animal phyla has become ever more evident, and neuroscience projects in the School investigate the properties of excitable tissues from nematodes, insects and mammals. Biomedical research on each of these organisms is directed towards understanding nervous system function in health and disease, and utilises information from the genome mapping of key species such as C. elegans, Drosophila and mouse.

The central themes of neuroscience research are in the areas of neurodegeneration, neuroinflammation and an integrative analysis of neural/synaptic function underpinning behavioural plasticity. Our multidisciplinary approaches allow investigations of basic mechanisms to inform novel insights into diseases associated with protein misfolding and aggregation such as Alzheimer's and disease states such as Multiple Sclerosis and addiction. Interests in the impact of the environment on neural function and in the remodelling of neurons during development and in adult disease overlaps with interests in the Developmental Biology Group.

An important aspect of all our research is that it is carried out under the umbrella of the Southampton Neuroscience Group (SoNG), an organisation that cuts across faculties in the University to bring together neurobiologists, clinical neuroscientists, psychologists and health care practitioners, who have a shared interest in understanding the nervous system in health and disease. Cross-disciplinary collaborations with engineers, chemists and computational neuroscientists also provide an excellent opportunity to develop and implement new tools and technologies in this fast-moving field.

Developmental Biology:

Our biomedical research concerns both basic processes in reproductive and developmental biology, notably oocyte meiotic maturation and preimplantation development, but focuses predominantly in mechanistic studies using animal models underpinning the University-wide Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) programme and related translational biomedical directions with extensive collaborations with the Faculty of Medicine.

We have rodent models to investigate effects of maternal diet and sickness on adult offspring health including facilities for epigenetic, molecular, cellular and physiological research. Our biomedical research work makes use of transgenic models with ready availability of embryonic stem cell culture and differentiation. Areas of specialism include the extracellular matrix in development and disease and in vitro models for bone development and endothelial-osteoblast cell communication.

Biomedical Sciences Principal Investigators (PI)

Dr Howard Barton: PI Biomedical Sciences

Professor John Chad: PI Neuronal Signalling

Dr Claire Clarkin: PI Biomedical Sciences

Associate Professor Rob Ewing: PI in Molecular Interaction Networks in Cancer and Development

Professor Tom P Fleming: PI Developmental Biology

Dr Diego Gomez-Nicola: PI Neuroimmunology and Neurodegeneration

Professor Lindy Holden-Dye: PI Neuropharmacology & Physiology

Professor Keith Jones: PI Meiosis & Cell Cycle

Professor Karen Lillycrop: PI Biomedical Sciences

Associate Professor Amrit Mudher: PI Neurodegenerative Diseases

Professor Phil Newland: PI Insect Neuroscience

Professor Vincent O'Connor: PI Synaptic Transmission & Signalling

Professor V Hugh Perry: PI Experimental Neuropathology

Dr Neil Smyth: PI Extracellular Matrix

Associate Professor Jessica Teeling: PI Neuroimmunology

Dr David Tumbarello: PI Membrane Trafficking and Cell Signalling

Postgraduate opportunities

If you are interested in joining us either to study or to become part of our research team please select the relevant link below for further information.

Funded PhD Opportunities

Current job vacancies at the University of Southampton 


Research Staff

Staff MemberPrimary Position
Jennifer AdcottResearch Technician
Anan Rajeh AljahdaliPostgraduate Research Student in Biology
Martin ArundellSenior Research Fellow
Joanne BaileyBBSRC Research Fellow
C Howard BartonReader Biomedical Sciences
John ButlerResearch Fellow in Molecular Biology
Fernando CalahorroResearch Fellow in C. elegans genetics and chemical biology
Alison CaldwellPostgraduate research student in biological sciences
John ChadProfessor of Neuroscience
Yi-Lung ChangPostgraduate Research Student in Biology
Claire E ClarkinLecturer in Developmental Biology
Madeleine E ClealResearch Technician in Neuroscience
Josie CollinsPhD
Catherine CowanResearch Fellow
Nicolas DallièrePostgraduate Research Student in Neuroscience
Matthew John DaviesPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Katrin DeinhardtLecturer in Neuroscience
Nullin DivechaAssociate Professor
Rob M EwingAssociate Professor in Proteomics and Systems Biology
Teresa FerreiroResearch Fellow in Microfluidics
John FindlayResearch Fellow: Cellular Physiology
Tom P. FlemingProfessor of Developmental Biology
Connor FrapwellPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Gemma FryattResearch Technician in Neuroscience
Annalisa GastaldelloResearch Fellow in Immunoproteomics
Diego Gomez-NicolaCareer Track Lecturer
Alice GoringPostgraduate Research Student in Bone Biology
Grace Isabella HallinanPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroscience
Lindy Holden-DyeChair in Neuroscience
Keith T JonesHead of Biological Sciences
James KearnPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroscience
Pooja KhuranaMarie Curie Research Fellow (Early Stage Researcher, ESR)
Pooja KhuranaPostgraduate Research Student in Biomedical Sciences
Simon I.R. LaneResearch Fellow
Karen A LillycropProfessor of Epigenetics
Renzo MancusoResearch Fellow in Neuroimmunology
Stephanie Marfy-SmithPostgraduate Research Student in Microscopy and Bone Biology
Stephanie Marfy-SmithPostgraduate Research Student in Microscopy and Bone Biology
Stephanie MorganResearch Technician
Amritpal MudherAssociate Professor in Neurosciences
Philip NewlandProfessor of Neuroscience
Juan NunezPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Vincent O'ConnorProfessor of Neurochemistry
Adrián Olmos AlonsoResearch Technician in Neuroscience
Prutha PatelPostgraduate research student in Neuroscience
Reyna Penailillo EscaratePostgraduate Research Student in Biological Science
V Hugh PerryProfessor of Experimental Neuropathology
Ursula PuentenerResearch Fellow
Raja Ili Airina Raja KhalifPostgraduate Research student in Developmental Biology
Caroline RiversPostgraduate Research Student in Nematodes
Euan ScottPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Thomas SeckerProject Technician Environmental Health
Susanna SherwinProject Technician
Hannah V SiddleLecturer in Molecular Biology
Neil SmythReader in Development and Cell Biology
Sarmi SriPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Doroteya K. StaykovaResearch Fellow
Kathryn StubbsPostgraduate research student in Neuroscience
Jessica L. TeelingAssociate Professor in Immunology
David TumbarelloLecturer in Biomedical Sciences
Mariana Vargas-CaballeroResearch Career Track Lecturer, Institute for Life Sciences
Miguel A VelazquezResearch Fellow: Developmental and cell biology
Robert WalkerEmeritus Professor of Neurophysiology
Nilu Wansadhipathi-KannangaraTeaching Fellow in Biomedical Sciences
Jeremy S WebbProfessor of Microbiology
Herman WijnenAssociate Professor in Biological Sciences
Larissa Zarate-GarciaPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences

Related Projects

Related ProjectsStatusType
Mammalian NeurodegenerationActive
The impact of systemic bacterial and viral infections on innate immune responses in the brainActive
Improving immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s diseases by modulating FcR interaction: an antibody engineering approach.Active
Role of antibody-mediated immune responses in the CNSActive
Mechanisms of DNA damage and repair in mature oocytesActive
Immune-to-brain communication in immune-mediated lung inflammation; studies of neuronal mechanisms and the impact of immunomodulatorsActive
Role of maternal diet on regulation of embryonic neural stem cells Active Other
Understanding oligodendrocyte progenitor dynamics and myelin loss in Alzheimer’s DiseaseActive
Molecular mechanisms underlying the communication between the peripheral immune system and the brainActive
Activity dependent control of adult neural hippocampal stem cells in 3D cell cultureActive
EpiHealthNet: Environment during periconceptional development, due to diabetes, obesity or assisted reproductive technologies, and altered health during ageingActiveGrant
Circadian Developmental RequirementsActive
An integrated approach to CNS inflammation: cooperation between antibodies and CD8 T cellsActive
Diet and immune responses in Drosophila melanogasterActive
Taste coding and modulation in the locustActive
Neuroprotective actions of MAPKinasesActive
mGluRs model for genes to behaviourActive
Modelling neural responsesActive
Plasticity through scaffolding moleculesActive
Neuronal information processing and network modellingActive
Control of adult neurogenesis during chronic neurodegenerationActive
Characterisation of cue-dependent behaviour in plant parasitic nematodes: the neurobiology of host plant invasionActive
How do preimplantation embryos sense and respond to maternal nutrition affecting fetal development and adult healthActiveGrant
Does Wlds mediate protection in a Drosophila model of tauopathies?Active
Nuclear phosphoinositides and their role in the regulation of myogenic differentiationActive
Immunity, neurodegeneration and ageingActive
Effects of electric fields on animal behaviourActive
Plasticity of behaviour for good and badActive
Protein misfolding and the neuroprotective role of molecular chaperonesActive
Role of autophagy during polyglutamine aggregationActive
Reducing the Burden of intravenous drug/nutrition delivery system infections using novel anti-biofilm strategies.Active
Regulation of microglial proliferation during chronic neurodegenerationActive
Use of Drosophila Models to Explore the Function of Asthma Susceptibility GenesActive
Temperature entrainment of the molecular circadian clock circuits in DrosophilaActive
Exploiting C. elegans to provide insight into neural substrates of human alcohol dependenceActive
Investigating the interface between metabolism and neurodegenerationActiveGrant
Linking the immune system to the central nervous system: a role for antibodies and Fcγ receptors in neuronal damage.Active
Effect of mouse maternal high fat diet during preimplantation and later stages of pregnancy on offspring development and healthActive Other
Causes and consequences of microglial priming in the ageing brainActive
OtoAcoustic BiometricsActive
Physiology, genetics and evolution of predictive adaptive responses in DrosophilaActive
Inflammation in chronic neurodegeneration and the contribution of systemic inflammationActive
ME7 Synaptopathy model: a protein aggregation disease to model Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic neurodegenerationActive
Metabotropic Glutamate receptors (mGluRs) models to investigate synaptic organizationActive
The regulation of epigenetic signalling by nuclear phosphoinositidesActive
Control of Drosophila circadian behaviour by the RHO1-signalling pathwayActive
The role of IgG Fc receptors in the pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration and its implications for therapeutic intervention.Active
Investigating the role of membranes on protein aggregation and neurotoxicity of the huntingtin protein.Active
Establishing the developmental function of the pectic component rhamnogalacturonan II (RGII)Active
Linking perturbed maternal environment during periconceptional development, due to diabetes, obesity or assisted reproductive technologies, and altered health during ageingActiveGrant
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