Tracey Newman

BSc, PhD

Primary position:
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Neurosciences


The University of Southampton

Dr Newman leads a multidisciplinary group that investigates immune mediated mechanisms that lead to neuronal injury, and its consequences, in the central nervous system.  Members of the group are developing the use of biocompatible nanoparticle delivery and reporter systems. 

The group is based in the Life Sciences Building on the Highfield Campus.


Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (FHEA)

PhD, University of Southampton
BSc, Biochemistry and Physiology

Appointments held

Senior Lecturer, University of Southampton 2014 - present

Lecturer, University of Southampton 2010 – 2014


Dr Tracey Newman's photo


Research Interests

The contribution of inflammation to outcomes in hearing loss.

Age related hearing loss affects a significant number of older people. Despite this and in common with other conditions with a neurodegenerative component, we lack disease-modifying drugs to treat the condition. With collaborators in ISVR (Verschuur, Lineton) we are exploring the contribution of the innate immune system to the rate of progression of hearing loss. A better understanding of the relationship between inflammatory markers and hearing function may enable us to stratify individuals such that we are able to determine those individuals most at risk of deterioration. Our current work includes investigating hearing and inflammation in a longitudinal human study of older community dwelling individuals.

A percentage of people experiencing hearing loss due to changes within their cochleae are recipients of cochlear implants. These devices are designed to transduce sounds from the outside world to the auditory pathways within the cochlea and brain. A small subset of the cohort, those with partial hearing loss, receive shorter electroacoustic implants. These implants replace the missing function in part of the cochlea and allow the residual hearing to remain functional. In both implant groups a small number of patients do not do as well as anticipated, we have a multi-centre study underway to explore the contribution of inflammation to this variation in outcome.

Biocompatible nanoparticles for enhanced drug delivery

The growing burden of neurological disease is driving a need to develop new routes for selective drug delivery to the central nervous system. We have developed targeted engineered nanoparticles for drug delivery. We use organic nanoparticles capable of delivering several different cargo types (hydrophilic, hydrophobic, and protein). These are being tested in vitro, and in vivo.

Through a combination of approaches we are investigating the interaction of the nanoparticles with neurons, and stem cells (Evans, Oreffo, FoM), including the uptake mechanisms and the factors that influence this. We are working to identify neuron-specific ligands to use as targeting moieties. We have developed fluorescence-based approaches to resolve the delivery kinetics, including the temporal profile, of compounds. Our current focus is the fate and clearance of the nanoparticles after internalization.

In collaboration with colleagues at the University of Malaya (Woo, Ariffin), and HDH (Cheong), we are exploiting these nanoparticles for enhanced delivery of compounds to the female reproductive tract.

Nanotoxicology – airborne particulates

As nanoparticle usage becomes more mainstream, in both medicine and consumer products, there is a need to investigate the possible detrimental impact of nanoparticles on the health and integrity of the CNS. Anthropogenic airborne nanoparticles may also be a challenge to the nervous system. Together with colleagues in the Centre for Biological Sciences (Poppy, Girling) we are investigating the impact of airborne nanoparticulate pollutants on learning and memory in the honey bee, an insect of significant ecological and economic importance.

Academic unit:  Clinical and Experimental Sciences

Research project

Targeting stem cells with nanoparticles

Promoting tissue regeneration by carrying drugs and molecules directly to stem cells.


Postgraduate student supervision

Year of entry 2010

Shilong Lu (FoM/FEE)

Year of entry 2011

Andrew Causon (FoM/FEE)
Christine Reitmayer (FoM/FNES)
Katerina Zisimopolou (FoM)

Year of entry 2012

Akosua Agyemang-Prempeh (FoM/FEE)

Year of entry 2013

Edoardo Scarpa (FoM)

Faculty of Medicine

Deputy Programme Lead of the Masters in Medical Science


Teaching Responsibilities

MMedSc Deputy Programme Lead and Module Co-ordinator for MEDI4015/4014/6056/6057. Lectures and small group teaching.

BM5/BM4 Lectures, BMedSc project supervision, Personal tutor.

Project supervision on the BSc/MBiol/MMedSc/BMedSc.


Dr Tracey Newman
Faculty of Medicine
University of Southampton
Building 85
Life Sciences Building
Highfield Campus

+44 2380 597642

Room Number: 85/3041

Telephone: (023) 8059 7642