The University of Southampton
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
Professor Peter J S Smith: PI Biophysics & Cell Biology
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
Anan Rajeh AljahdaliPostgraduate Research Student in Biology
Martin ArundellSenior Research Fellow
Katharine AskewPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroimmunology
Joanne Louise BaileyResearch Fellow in Neurobiology
C Howard BartonReader Biomedical Sciences
Christopher BellLecturer in Epigenomics
Emily Hannah BowlerPostgraduate Research Student in Proteomics and Systems Biology
Laura CaetanoPostgraduate Research Student in Biomedical Sciences
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
Josie CollinsPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Catherine CowanResearch Fellow
Evander DaCostaPostgraduate Research Student in Complex Systems Simulation
Katrin DeinhardtLecturer in Neuroscience
George DevittPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Nullin DivechaAssociate Professor in Biomedical Sciences
Rob M EwingAssociate Professor in Proteomics and Systems Biology
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-NicolaLecturer in Neuroscience
Alice GoringPostgraduate Research Student in Bone Biology
Grace Isabella HallinanPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroscience
Lindy Holden-DyeChair in Neuroscience
Robert Iain HullPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Chloe Frances HutchinsPostgraduate Research Student in microbiology
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
Jemma KnightMRes Advanced Biological Science Student
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 MorganResearch Technician
Casey Marie MorrisPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroscience
Amritpal MudherAssociate Professor in Neurosciences
Philip NewlandProfessor of Neuroscience
Oliver NichollsMRes Advanced Biological Science Student
Juan NunezPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Vincent O'ConnorProfessor of Neurochemistry
Juliane ObstSenior Research Assistant in Neuroimmunology
Athanasios PapakryiakouMarie Curie Research Fellow in Structural Biology
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
Jose Lucas SantosMRes Advanced Biological Science Student
Euan ScottPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Thomas SeckerProject Technician Environmental Health
Susanna SherwinProject Technician
Hannah V SiddleLecturer in Molecular Immunology
Emilie SimonResearch Fellow in Neuroinflammation
Peter J S SmithDirector, Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)
Neil SmythReader in Development and Cell Biology
Odel SorenPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Sarmi SriPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Doroteya K. StaykovaResearch Fellow
Jessica L. TeelingProfessor of Experimental Neuroimmunology
David TumbarelloLecturer in Biomedical Sciences
Natascha VanaPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Mariana Vargas-CaballeroResearch Career Track Lecturer, Institute for Life Sciences
Miguel A VelazquezResearch Fellow: Developmental and cell biology
Robert WalkerEmeritus Professor of Neurophysiology
Yihua WangLecturer in Biomedical Sciences
Fergus L WatsonPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Jeremy S WebbProfessor of Microbiology
Herman WijnenAssociate Professor in Biological Sciences
Christopher J WinnardPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Larissa Zarate-GarciaPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences

    Related Projects

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    Engineering, environmental and human behavioural factors influencing the colonisation of hospital water outlets by Pseudomonas aeruginosaActive
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    Investigating the interface between metabolism and neurodegenerationActiveGrant
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    Linking perturbed maternal environment during periconceptional development, due to diabetes, obesity or assisted reproductive technologies, and altered health during ageingActiveGrant
    Linking the immune system to the central nervous system: a role for antibodies and Fcγ receptors in neuronal damage.Active
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    ME7 Synaptopathy model: a protein aggregation disease to model Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic neurodegenerationActive
    Mechanisms of DNA damage and repair in mature oocytesActive
    Metabotropic Glutamate receptors (mGluRs) models to investigate synaptic organizationActive
    mGluRs model for genes to behaviourActive
    Modelling neural responsesActive
    Modulation of Alzheimer's disease protein networks: Minimising neuronal toxicity while preserving synaptic plasticityActive
    Molecular mechanisms underlying the communication between the peripheral immune system and the brainActive
    Neuronal information processing and network modellingActive
    Nuclear phosphoinositides and their role in the regulation of myogenic differentiationActive
    OtoAcoustic BiometricsActive
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    Plasticity of behaviour for good and badActive
    Plasticity through scaffolding moleculesActive
    Protein misfolding and the neuroprotective role of molecular chaperonesActive
    Reducing the Burden of intravenous drug/nutrition delivery system infections using novel anti-biofilm strategies.Active
    The regulation of epigenetic signalling by nuclear phosphoinositidesActive
    Regulation of microglial proliferation during chronic neurodegenerationActive
    Role of antibody-mediated immune responses in the CNSActive
    Role of maternal diet on regulation of embryonic neural stem cells Active Other
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    The impact of systemic bacterial and viral infections on innate immune responses in the brainActive
    Neuroprotective actions of MAPKinasesActive
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