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Translational Neuroscience

Synapses

The Translational Neuroscience Research Cluster incorporates researchers from each of the four departments of the School of Pharmacy. Members use a wide range of molecular, cellular and whole-organism models as well as theoretical approaches to study normal brain function and uncover the fundamental causes of neurological and psychiatric diseases.

The ultimate aim of this research is the identification of novel therapeutic targets to develop new agents including gene therapies. Another focus is the development of improved drug formulations to facilitate delivery of effective, safe and age-appropriate medication to the brain across the blood brain barrier.
Research in the cluster focuses on understanding the basic mechanisms underlying behaviour and disease states. 

Seminar Series: To keep up to date about events in this cluster look at the seminar series. Regular speakers come to the division with engaging seminar topics. View programme.

Current projects include:

  • The study of neocortical and hippocampal microcircuitry with a specific emphasis on inhibitory neurotransmission in diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease;
  • The presynaptic control of neurotransmitter release and dendritic information processing in the cortex that may govern spatial navigation and learning and memory; 
  • Mechanisms governing synapse formation, receptor and ion channel trafficking and clustering at synapses during development and underlying disorders such as anxiety;
  • Developing novel zebrafish models for drug screening for intractable childhood neurological disorders, e.g. Batten Disease;
  • Development of cellular and animal models for understanding and drug screening for complex adult diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Gaucher’s Disease and Niemann Pick Type C Disease;
  • Development and implementation of novel therapies for the treatment of diseases affecting both the brain and spinal cord excitability, e.g. intractable epilepsies or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
  • The study of cellular signaling pathways with a focus on Wnt signalling in neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Funding: Researchers in this cluster receive funding from Action Medical Research, the Batten Disease Family Association, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, British Medical Association, European Research Council, Leverhulme Trust, Medical Research Council, Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Wellcome Trust.

Cluster Members