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
Melissa R AndrewsLecturer in Systems Physiology
Martin ArundellSenior Research Fellow
Katharine AskewPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroimmunology
Bhavik BarochiaPostgraduate Research Student in Medical Microbiology
C Howard BartonReader in 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
Joe ChouhanPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Claire E ClarkinAssociate Professor in Developmental Biology
Daniel Wagner CohnResearch Fellow in Neuroimmunology
Charlotte CollierPostgraduate 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
James C DillonTeaching Fellow in Biomedical Sciences
Nullin DivechaProfessor of Cellular Signalling
Salah EliasLecturer in Epithelial Cell Biology
Ayse ErtayPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Rob M EwingAssociate Professor in Proteomics and Systems Biology
Maria FankhaenelPostgraduate Research Student in Developmental Biology
Tom P. FlemingEmeritus Professor of Developmental Biology
Connor FrapwellPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Gemma FryattResearch Technician in Neuroimmunology
Annalisa GastaldelloResearch Fellow in Immunoproteomics
Diego Gomez-NicolaPrincipal Research Fellow in Neuroscience
Alice GoringPostgraduate Research Student in Bone Biology
Monica Guerrero-CarrascoPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Lindy Holden-DyeChair in Neuroscience
Yanling HuResearch Fellow in Neuroscience
Robert Iain HullPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Michael J HurleyResearch Fellow in Neuroimmunology
Chloe Frances HutchinsPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Keith T JonesHead of Biological Sciences
Pooja KhuranaPostgraduate Research Student in Biomedical Sciences
Negusse Tadesse KitabaResearch Fellow in Bioinformatics
Simon I.R. LaneResearch Fellow
Devon LewisPostgraduate Research Student in Computational Neuroscience
Juanjuan LiResearch Technician in Cell Plasticity
Karen A LillycropProfessor of Epigenetics
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
Matt NichollsPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Juan NunezPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Vincent O'ConnorProfessor of Neurochemistry
Juliane ObstSenior Research Assistant in Neuroimmunology
Athanasios PapakyriakouMarie 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
Shmma QuraisheResearch Fellow in Neuroregeneration
Mark RichardsonChief Executive Officer of the National Biofilms Innovation Centre
Caroline RiversPostgraduate Research Student in Nematodes
Thomas A. RyanResearch Fellow
James P R SchofieldResearch Fellow in Proteomics
Euan ScottPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Seb ShepherdPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Hannah V SiddleLecturer in Molecular Immunology
Peter J S SmithDirector, Institute for Life Sciences (IfLS)
Neil SmythReader in Development and Cell Biology
Odel SorenPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Sarmi SriResearch Fellow in Neurodegeneration
Sarmi SriPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Jessica L. TeelingProfessor of Experimental Neuroimmunology
David TumbarelloLecturer in Biomedical Sciences
Mariana Vargas-CaballeroLecturer in Neuroscience
Miguel A VelazquezResearch Fellow: Developmental and cell biology
Robert WalkerEmeritus Professor of Neurophysiology
Yihua WangLecturer in Biomedical Sciences
George F B WardleyMRes Advanced Biological Science
Fergus L WatsonPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Jeremy S WebbProfessor of Microbiology
Herman WijnenAssociate Professor in Biological Sciences
Sandra A WilksSenior Research Fellow (Microbiology)
Christopher J WinnardPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Liudi YaoPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Science

    Related Projects

    Related ProjectsStatusType
    Exploiting C. elegans to provide insight into neural substrates of human alcohol dependenceActive
    Causes and consequences of microglial priming in the ageing brainActive
    Characterisation of cue-dependent behaviour in plant parasitic nematodes: the neurobiology of host plant invasionActive
    Circadian Developmental RequirementsActive
    Combating Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm tolerance and antibiotic resistance in cystic fibrosisActive
    Control of Drosophila circadian behaviour by the RHO1-signalling pathwayActive
    Control of adult neurogenesis during chronic neurodegenerationActive
    Diet and immune responses in Drosophila melanogasterDormant
    Does Wlds mediate protection in a Drosophila model of tauopathies?Active
    Effect of mouse maternal high fat diet during preimplantation and later stages of pregnancy on offspring development and healthActive Other
    Effects of electric fields on animal behaviourActive
    Elucidating the mode of action of a novel nematicide on plant parasitic nematodesActiveStudentship
    Elucidating the role of vascular endothelial growth factor in regulating adult bone health, strength and repairActiveStudentship
    Engineering, environmental and human behavioural factors influencing the colonisation of hospital water outlets by Pseudomonas aeruginosaActive
    EpiHealthNet: Environment during periconceptional development, due to diabetes, obesity or assisted reproductive technologies, and altered health during ageingActiveGrant
    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induced by RAS activation in alveolar Type II cells leads to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or lung cancer invasion?ActiveGrant
    Establishing the developmental function of the pectic component rhamnogalacturonan II (RGII)Dormant
    Functional analysis of Sodium/glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1), a potential therapeutic target for PTEN-inactive breast cancerActiveStudentship
    How does autophagy regulate the development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)?ActiveGrant
    How do preimplantation embryos sense and respond to maternal nutrition affecting fetal development and adult healthActiveGrant
    Immune-to-brain communication in immune-mediated lung inflammation; studies of neuronal mechanisms and the impact of immunomodulatorsActive
    Immunity, neurodegeneration and ageingDormant
    Improving immunotherapy for Alzheimer’s diseases by modulating FcR interaction: an antibody engineering approach.Active
    Inflammation in chronic neurodegeneration and the contribution of systemic inflammationActive
    Investigating the Impact of Nervous System Maturation on Transmembrane Receptor Localisation and Transport in CNS AxonsActiveGrant
    Investigating the interface between metabolism and neurodegenerationActiveGrant
    Investigating the mechanisms of membrane traffic and cell signallingActive
    Investigating the mechanisms of mitophagyActiveStudentship
    Investigating the mechanisms of Parkin-mediated mitophagyActiveGrant
    Investigating the role of membranes on protein aggregation and neurotoxicity of the huntingtin protein.Active
    Investigation into why oocytes fail to mature into eggsActiveGrant
    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
    Mammalian NeurodegenerationActive
    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
    Physiology, genetics and evolution of predictive adaptive responses in DrosophilaDormant
    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 autophagy in oncogenic RAS-induced invasive behaviourActiveGrant
    Role of antibody-mediated immune responses in the CNSActive
    Role of maternal diet on regulation of embryonic neural stem cells Active Other
    Taste coding and modulation in the locustActive
    Temperature entrainment of the molecular circadian clock circuits in DrosophilaActive
    The genetics and developmental biology of cell division in mammary stem cellsActive
    The role of factor inhibiting HIF (FIH) in the development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)ActiveGrant
    The impact of systemic bacterial and viral infections on innate immune responses in the brainActive
    Neuroprotective actions of MAPKinasesActive
    Role of autophagy during polyglutamine aggregationActive
    The role of IgG Fc receptors in the pathogenesis of age related macular degeneration and its implications for therapeutic intervention.Active
    Understanding Meiotic Drive: how Mendel's Law is cheated in oocytesActiveGrant
    Understanding microglial dynamics in the healthy and ageing brainActiveStudentship
    Understanding the role of early-life inflammation on the incidence of Alzheimer’s diseaseActiveStudentship
    Understanding oligodendrocyte progenitor dynamics and myelin loss in Alzheimer’s DiseaseActive
    Unravelling the role of microtubule stabilisation in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s diseaseActiveStudentship
    Use of Drosophila Models to Explore the Function of Asthma Susceptibility GenesActive
    Using Exosomes to Promote Neurite Outgrowth and RepairActiveStudentship
    Share this research group Share this on Facebook Share this on Google+ Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo

    We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.