Professor Stephen P Hunt
I have maintained a number of lines or research that have largely been concerned with correlating molecular biology and behaviour. This has been particularly successful in the areas of affective disorders, addiction, learning and memory and pain research. My work on a molecular understanding of LTP, a long-term collaboration with Tim Bliss at NIMR, established the importance of the transcription factor zif268 as well as the regulation of signalling pathways after in vivo induction of long-term potentiation, the physiological basis for long term storage in the CNS.
In the area of pain research we were able to demonstrate rapid pain-specific changes in gene transcription and more recently the involvement of gene repression and methylation in driving changes in pain sensitivity.
We have also developed a series of gene knock-out mice. The substance P receptor (NK1R) knockout mouse which was shown to both be insensitive to the rewarding effects of morphine although analgesia was intact and also to be crucial for the animals defence in the wild. This work, and other research some in collaboration led to the idea that NK1R was a new target for monoamine regulating drugs and new ways of looking at drug addiction. This work has lead to corroborative studies looking at SNPs in humans. We have also worked on the problem of regeneration of mammalian neurons and identified and disrupted a number of important molecular targets, particularly the Reg2 gene.
1969 B.Sc. Zoology (Hons) 2:1, Queen Mary College, University of London.
1974 Ph.D. Neurobiology, Department of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London.
1973-1974 Temporary Lecturer in Anatomy, University College, London.
1974-1976 Post-doctoral Fellow at the Institute for Brain Research, Zurich
1976-1979 Senior Research Associate, Department of Psychiatry, State University of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY.
1979-1983 Scientific Staff member, MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit, Cambridge
1983-1986 Senior Scientific Staff member, MRC Neurochemical Pharmacology Unit, Cambridge
1986-1992 Senior Scientific Staff member, MRC Molecular Neurobiology Unit, Cambridge
1992-1998 Senior Scientific Staff member, MRC Lab of Molecular Biology, Division of Neurobiology
1998- Professor of Molecular Neuroscience, University College London
- Geranton SM, Jimenez-Diaz L, Torsney C, Tochiki KK, Stuart SA, Leith JL, Lumb BM, Hunt SP (2009) A rapamycin-sensitive signaling pathway is essential for the full expression of persistent pain states. J Neurosci 29:15017-15027.
- Jimenez-Diaz L, Geranton SM, Passmore GM, Leith JL, Fisher AS, Berliocchi L, Sivasubramaniam AK, Sheasby A, Lumb BM, Hunt SP (2008) Local translation in primary afferent fibers regulates nociception. PLoS One 3:e1961.
- Tebar LA, Geranton SM, Parsons-Perez C, Fisher AS, Bayne R, Smith AJ, Turmaine M, Perez-Luz S, Sheasby A, De Felipe C, Ruff C, Raivich G, Hunt SP (2008) Deletion of the mouse RegIIIbeta (Reg2) gene disrupts ciliary neurotrophic factor signaling and delays myelination of mouse cranial motor neurons. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 105:11400-11405.
- Geranton SM, Morenilla-Palao C, Hunt SP. A role for transcriptional repressor Methyl-CpG-binding protein 2 and plasticity-related gene serum- and glucocorticoid-inducible kinase 1 in the induction of inflammatory pain states. J Neurosci. 2007 Jun 6;27(23):6163-73.
- Gadd C A, Murtra P, De Felipe C & Hunt SP. Neurokinin-1 receptor expressing neurons in the amygdala modulate morphine reward and anxiety behaviors in the mouse J Neuroscience (2003) 23:8271-8280Suzuki R, Morcuende S, Webber M, Hunt SP, Dickenson AH. Superficial NK1-expressing neurons control spinal excitability through activation of descending pathways. Nat Neurosci. 2002 5:1319-26.
- Hunt S.P. and Mantyh P.W.(2001) The molecular dynamics of pain control. Nature Review in Neuroscience, 2: 83-91
- Murtra, P, Sheasby, A.M., Hunt, S.P. and De Felipe, C.D (2000) rewarding effects of opiates are absent in mice lacking the receptor for Substance P. Nature 405, 180-183
- De Felipe, C., Herrero, J.E., O’Brien, J. A., Palmer, J.A., Doyle, C.A., Smith, A.J.H., Laird, J.M.A., Belmonte, C., Cervero, F. and Hunt, S.P (1998) Altered nociception, analgesia, and aggression in mice lacking the substance P receptor. Nature 392:394-397
- Livesey, F.J., O’Brien,F.J., Li, M., Smith, A., Murphy L and Hunt,S.P (1997) Regeneration of motor neurons is accompanied by expression of a novel Schwann cell mitogen Nature 390: 614-618
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