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Dr Tracey Newman BSc, PhD

Associate Professor in Clinical Neurosciences

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Dr Tracey Newman is Associate Professor in Clinical Neurosciences within Medicine at the University of Southampton.

As a neurobiologist my research is exploring how processes outside of our nervous system are contributing to common age-related neurological conditions

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

Associate Professor, University of Southampton 2014 - present

Lecturer, University of Southampton 2010 – 2014







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 (Carl Verschuur, Ben Lineton) and chemistry (Sumeet Mahajan) 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 biomarkers 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 number of these individuals with partial hearing loss, may receive a slightly different, electroacoustic, implant. These implants replace the missing function in part of the cochlea that has lost the ability to respond to sound and allow the residual hearing to remain functional. In both implant groups a subset 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 (Nicholas Evans, Richard 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 kinetics of take up and cargo release from nanoparticles after internalization.

Nanotoxicology – airborne exhaust 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 (Guy Poppy, Chris Jackson) and Centre for Agri-Environmental Research, University of Reading (Robbie 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.

Translating super-oscillatory imaging from materials science into label free imaging in neuroboiology.

The majority of neuronal function is underpinned by the dynamic organisation and turnover of structures at the nanoscale. The limitations imposed by the diffraction of light have meant that many of these processes remain unresolved by conventional light microscopy. Working with colleagues in optoelectronics (Ed Rodgers) FoM, IfLS and CfBS (Shmma Quraishe, Peter Smith and John Chad), we are translating the capabilities of a new super-resolution microscope that is not dependent upon fluorescence to achieve sub-diffraction imaging in biology. Our approach builds on existing confocal microscopy familiar to biologists but replaces a conventional microscope objective lens with a 'super-oscillatory’ (SO) lens, which sculpts the input light to form a strongly confined spot, enabling resolution beyond the diffraction limit of light.


Academic unit(s)

Clinical and Experimental Sciences Academic Units

Affiliate academic unit(s)

Clinical Neuroscience Research group

Research project(s)

Targeting stem cells with nanoparticles

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

Postgraduate student supervision

Current MPhil/PhD students:

Lead or significant co-supervisor

Andrew Causon (FoM/FEE)

Christine Reitmayer (FoM/FNES)

Akosua Agyemang-Prempeh (FoM/FEE)

Edoardo Scarpa (FoM)

Alan Sanderson (FoM/FEE)

Co-supervisor (minor)

Shellie Long (FoM)

Savannah Lynn (FoM)

Recent MPhil/PhD students (completed)

Shilong Lu (FoM/FEE)

Katerina Zisimopolou (FoM)


Faculty of Medicine

Programme Lead of the Masters in Medical Science

Vice-chair of the Faculty of Medicine ethics committee




Book Section(s)

MMedSc Programme Lead and Module lead for MEDI4015/4014/6102/6104/6057. 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 Southampton SO171BJ +44 2380 597642

Room Number: 85/3041

Telephone: (023) 8059 7642

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