Sattelle image 1
Image 1
Courtesy of David Sattelle
Sattelle image 2
Image 2
Image courtesy of David Sattelle
sattelle image-3
Image 3
Image courtesy of David Sattelle

David B Sattelle

Molecular Neurobiology
David B Sattelle

Tel: 020 7679 6613

We are interested in the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases and in exploring new routes to therapy. We address these goals using the powerful genetic model organism Caenorhabditis elegans with its transgenic lines, mutants as well as access to forward and reverse genetics. We are currently focussing on Alzheimer's disease, Fronto-Temporal Dementia, Spinal Muscular Atrophy and Congenital Myasthenia. We have developed high-throughput, automated, phenotyping, which permits library-scale, in vivo, drug screening of our disease models with the aim of finding new or re-profiled drugs to ameliorate symptoms of these devastating diseases.

We also study human ligand-gated ion channels as targets for drugs aimed at ameliorating symptoms of nervous system disorders. Invertebrate ligand-gated ion channels are investigated as targets for drugs / chemicals with benefits for animal health and agriculture. 

Academic Career

  • 2013 - Professor of Neurobiology. University College London
  • 2013 -Member of The European Academy
  • 2010-2013 - Professor of Molecular Neurobiology, University of Manchester
  • 2011 - Co-Founder CE Bioscience Ltd
  • 2011-2013 - Head of Neurosystems Group, University of Manchester
  • 1999-2010 - Head of Neural Signalling, MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford
  • 2000 - Professor of Molecular Neurobiology University of Oxford
  • 1990-1999 - BBSRC Laboratory of Molecular Signalling, University of Cambridge
  • 1971-1990 - BBSRC Unit of Invertebrate Chemistry and Physiology, University of Cambridge
  • 1971 PhD,   University of Cambridge, UK


Sleigh J.N., Buckingham S.D., Esmaeili, B.E., Viswanathan M., Westlund B.M. and Sattelle, D.B. (2011) A novel Caenorhabditis elegans allele smn-1(cb131), mimicking a mild form of spinal muscular atrophy, provides a convenient drug screening platform highlighting new and pre-approved compounds. Hum Mol Genet 20, 245-260.

Werren J.H. et al. (2010) Functional and evolutionary insights from the genomes of three parasitoid Nasonia species. Science 327, 343-348.

Briese M., Esmaeili B., Fraboulet S., Burt E., Christodoulou S.C., Towers P.R., Davies K.E. and Sattelle D.B. (2009). Deletion of smn-1, the Caenorhabditis elegans ortholog of the spinal muscular atrophy gene, results in locomotor dysfunction and reduced lifespan. Hum Mol Genet. 18, 97-104.

Jones A.K., Buckingham S.D., Papadaki M., Yokota M., Sattelle B.M., Matsuda K. and Sattelle D.B. (2009) Splice-variant- and stage-specific RNA editing of the Drosophila GABA receptor modulates agonist potency. J Neuroscience 29, 4287-4292.

Richards S. et al (2008) The genome of the model beetle and pest Tribolium castaneum. Nature 452, 949- 955.

Weinstock G. et al (2006) Insights into social insects from the genome of the honeybee Apis mellifera. Nature 443: 931-949.

Jones A.K., Buckingham S.D., and Sattelle D.B (2005) Chemistry-to-gene screens in Caenorhabditis elegans. Nature Rev. Drug Discov. 4, 321-330.

Further publication information can be viewed at