UCL Division of Biosciences


Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Researchers in the Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience theme use cutting-edge approaches to examine ligand- and voltage-gated ion channels, G-protein-coupled receptors, and intracellular organelles. We are interested in understanding their structure and function, their role in cell signalling and synaptic plasticity, and their impact on behaviour.

We are examining how these receptors, channels and organelles are altered in a variety of neurological disorders, and how this affects their signalling mechanisms. Current work is attempting to identify molecular and pharmacological interventions to alleviate a number of harmful disorders including epilepsy, dementia, neurodevelopmental disorders, mental health conditions and some neurodegenerative changes.

We use approaches that range from molecular and cellular methods (patch-clamp electrophysiology, biochemistry/ molecular biology, conventional and super resolution microscopy in fixed and live cells, transcriptomics and proteomics, x-ray crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy) right through to rodent models and behavioural studies. 

We are in the vanguard of developing new methods, exemplified by optopharmacological tools to control cell signalling by light, and by selectively targeting specific single proteins, using chemically-configured biologics as experimental reagents and therapeutic entities.

People involved in this research theme:

Recent Papers

Learn More

Trevor Smart: Inhibitory Cys-loop Neurotransmitter Receptors

Shamshad Cockcroft: Courier Service for phosphatidylinositol: PITPs deliver on demand

Josef Kittler: GABAA receptor membrane dynamics and the tuning of inhibitory synapses

Lucia Sivilotti: Agonist efficacy- the view from the single receptor