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.
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 Principle 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
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
Dr Neil Smyth: PI Extracellular matrix
Associate Professor Jessica Teeling: PI Neuroimmunology
Dr David Tumbarello: PI Membrane trafficking and cell signalling