Professor of Developmental Neurobiology
Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
Div of Biosciences
- The neurobiological processes which underlie the development of pain
pathways (i) the maturation of central excitatory and inhibitory
synaptic responses in postnatal dorsal horn and brain stem (ii) the
development of central processes underlying hyperalgesia and allodynia
(iii) mechanisms underlying analgesic action in immature pain pathways
(iv) central plasticity following inflammation and nerve damage in
infants and children (v) the structural and functional effects of acute and
persistent pain and injury upon the developing central nervous system (vi) the
development of supraspinal and cortical pain processing
- The developmental neurophysiology of pain in infants and children (i) cortical, brainstem and spinal pain processing in infants and children (ii) The efficacy of analgesics in acute and chronic paediatric pain (iv) The long term consequences of inflammatory and neuropathic pain in infance and childhood upon sensory processing .
Doctor of Philosophy
|University College London|
Bachelor of Arts (Honours)
|University of Oxford|
The Fitzgerald lab at
UCL is internationally recognised for pioneering work in the basic developmental neurobiology of
pain and is a world leader in science of pain in infants and children.
Maria Fitzgerald graduated in Physiological Sciences at
Oxford University and studied for a PhD in Physiology at UCL. She was awarded a
postdoctoral MRC training fellowship to work with Professor Patrick Wall in the
Cerebral Functions Group at UCL and remained in that group as a postdoctoral
fellow until starting her own research group. She became a
Professor of Developmental Neurobiology at UCL in 1995.
Maria was elected as a
Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000 and was awarded
the Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children's Pain Relief by the
Pain Society, in 2010. She was elected to the Royal Society of
Anaesthetists Faculty of Pain Medicine in 2013 and a Fellow of the Royal
Society in 2016.
She is currently and has been a member of numerous strategic and research panels including the Medical Research Council Neurosciences and Mental Health Board, the UK Research Assessment Exercise (REF) and the Council of the Academy of Medical Sciences.