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
Martin ArundellSenior Research Fellow
Katharine AskewPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroimmunology
Liana BarkwillMRes Advanced Biological Sciences
Bhavik BarochiaPostgraduate Research Student in Medical Microbiology
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
Joe ChouhanPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Claire E ClarkinAssociate Professor in Developmental and Skeletal Biology
Charlotte CollierPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Catherine CowanResearch Fellow
Evander DaCostaPostgraduate Research Student in Complex Systems Simulation
George DevittPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
James C DillonTeaching Fellow in Biomedical Sciences
Sarah DyerMRes Advanced Biological Science
Ayse ErtayPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Maria FankhaenelPostgraduate Research Student in Developmental Biology
Connor FrapwellPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Gemma FryattResearch Technician in Neuroimmunology
Alice GoringPostgraduate Research Student in Bone Biology
Conor GrahamPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Monica Guerrero-CarrascoPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
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
Pooja KhuranaPostgraduate Research Student in Biomedical Sciences
Negusse Tadesse KitabaResearch Fellow in Bioinformatics
Devon LewisPostgraduate Research Student in Computational Neuroscience
Juanjuan LiResearch Technician in Cell Plasticity
Hannah LucasMRes Advanced Biological Science
Stephanie Marfy-SmithPostgraduate Research Student in Microscopy and Bone Biology
Stephanie MorganResearch Technician
Casey Marie MorrisPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroscience
Matt NichollsPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Juan NunezPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Juliane ObstSenior Research Assistant in Neuroimmunology
Prutha PatelPostgraduate Research Student in Neuroscience
Reyna Penailillo EscaratePostgraduate Research Student in Biological Science
Ursula PuentenerResearch Fellow
Shmma QuraisheResearch Fellow in Neuroregeneration
Helena RawsthornePostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
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
Odel SorenPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Sarmi SriResearch Fellow in Neurodegeneration
Sarmi SriPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences
Miguel A VelazquezResearch Fellow: Developmental and cell biology
Fergus L WatsonPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Sandra A WilksSenior Research Fellow (Microbiology)
Christopher J WinnardPostgraduate Research Student in Microbiology
Liudi YaoPostgraduate Research Student in Biological Science

    Related Projects

    Related ProjectsStatus
    Exploiting C. elegans to provide insight into neural substrates of human alcohol dependenceActive
    Causes and consequences of microglial priming in the ageing brainActive
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    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
    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
    Effects of electric fields on animal behaviourActive
    Elucidating the mode of action of a novel nematicide on plant parasitic nematodesActive
    Elucidating the role of vascular endothelial growth factor in regulating adult bone health, strength and repairActive
    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 ageingActive
    Epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) induced by RAS activation in alveolar Type II cells leads to idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) or lung cancer invasion?Active
    Functional analysis of Sodium/glucose cotransporter 1 (SGLT1), a potential therapeutic target for PTEN-inactive breast cancerActive
    How does autophagy regulate the development of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF)?Active
    How do preimplantation embryos sense and respond to maternal nutrition affecting fetal development and adult healthActive
    Immune-to-brain communication in immune-mediated lung inflammation; studies of neuronal mechanisms and the impact of immunomodulatorsActive
    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 AxonsActive
    Investigating the interface between metabolism and neurodegenerationActive
    Investigating the mechanisms of membrane traffic and cell signallingActive
    Investigating the mechanisms of mitophagyActive
    Investigating the mechanisms of Parkin-mediated mitophagyActive
    Investigating the role of membranes on protein aggregation and neurotoxicity of the huntingtin protein.Active
    Investigation into why oocytes fail to mature into eggsActive
    Linking perturbed maternal environment during periconceptional development, due to diabetes, obesity or assisted reproductive technologies, and altered health during ageingActive
    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 decision making in C. elegans to understand neural mechanisms of major psychiatric disordersActive
    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
    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 behaviourActive
    Role of antibody-mediated immune responses in the CNSActive
    Role of maternal diet on regulation of embryonic neural stem cells Active
    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)Active
    The impact of systemic bacterial and viral infections on innate immune responses in the brainActive
    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 oocytesActive
    Understanding microglial dynamics in the healthy and ageing brainActive
    Understanding the role of early-life inflammation on the incidence of Alzheimer’s diseaseActive
    Understanding oligodendrocyte progenitor dynamics and myelin loss in Alzheimer’s DiseaseActive
    Unravelling the role of microtubule stabilisation in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s diseaseActive
    Use of Drosophila Models to Explore the Function of Asthma Susceptibility GenesActive
    Using Exosomes to Promote Neurite Outgrowth and RepairActive
    Diet and immune responses in Drosophila melanogasterDormant
    Establishing the developmental function of the pectic component rhamnogalacturonan II (RGII)Dormant
    Immunity, neurodegeneration and ageingDormant
    Physiology, genetics and evolution of predictive adaptive responses in DrosophilaDormant
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