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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

Professor Diego Gomez-Nicola, Professor of Neuroimmunology, Appointed Deputy Chair of the MRC Neurosciences and Mental Health Board (NMHB)

Published: 20 December 2023
Professor Diego Gomez-Nicola
Professor Diego Gomez-Nicola

As Deputy Chair, Professor Gomez-Nicola will work alongside the Chair (Professor Marcus Munafò, Professor of Biological Psychology and MRC Investigator at the University of Bristol), to oversee the scientific activity at the Board.

The Neurosciences and Mental Health Board (NMHB) is responsible for Medical Research Council (MRC)’s investments in disorders of the human nervous system. The board’s strategy includes addressing the challenges of mental illness and neurodegenerative diseases as well as exploring what we can learn from the direct study of human brain tissue to gain insight into the human brain.

To deliver its strategy, the NMHB supports investigator-led grants within its remit, and manages a range of strategic investments and partnerships. The board also supports the development of tools and techniques that help others carry out research on the nervous system.

Professor Diego Gomez-Nicola is currently the Deputy Head of School (Research) at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Southampton. He commented, “I am delighted to contribute to the NMHB, working with Professor Munafò to represent the Board at key strategic initiatives, as well as providing input into the strategic direction of MRC’s investments in Neuroscience and Mental Health. My experience at the NMHB has been highly rewarding and I hope to continue contributing to the MRC’s commitment to support UK’s neuroscience”

Professor Gomez-Nicola’s research is focused on the understanding of the multicellular response of the CNS to injury or neurodegeneration, aiming at providing an integrative and detailed study of the functions and cross-regulation of the different cell components during neuropathology. The goal of his current research is to study the role of microglial cells in chronic neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. His research group has provided key insight into the understanding of how microglial cells, the brain’s resident immune cells, control their numbers from brain development to disease, in a mice and humans. These cells are critical hubs of the regulation of brain function and dysfunction, and their understanding is a growing area of interest in the field of neuroscience.

Previously, Professor Gomez-Nicola was a regular member of the NMHB and contributed to the MRC’s activity, as co-Chair of the Neuroimmunology Data Generation Board and Chair of the Enhance Living and Post-Mortem Human Nervous Tissue Resources Board. He will begin his appointment in April 2024.

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