UCL Division of Biosciences

Dr Stephanie Koch

Dr Stephanie Koch

Senior Research Fellow

Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2019

Research summary

Movement is fundamental to our survival, this includes seeking food, shelter or escaping harm. Our movement must therefore be adaptive to allow us to sense the environment and react to our surroundings in the most appropriate manner for safety. Adaptive movement is not intrinsic from birth, it is learned through early life experience. This suggests that adverse early life experiences could affect how we interact with our environment for life, thereby leading to chronic pain or movement disorders. My primary research interest is to understand how the nervous system learns to interact with the environment in order to allow specific and precise movements to be recruited. I am particularly interested in the neuronal circuits in the spinal cord and brain that are involved in this learning process and how they can become dysfunctional in disease states.

Teaching summary

I am module leader for Neuropharmacology (PHAR0010/21) and lecture on a number of other modules including NEUR0005, NEUR0020 and ANAT0013.


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2010
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2006
University of Bath
Other higher degree, Master of Pharmacy | 2004


I completed a Masters in Pharmacy at the University of Bath in 2004, and subsequently worked as a Clinical Pharmacist in Cornwall before completing an MSc and PhD in Neuroscience at UCL, studying the postnatal maturation of inhibitory processing in the spinal dorsal horn. I was subsequently awarded a Pioneer Fund Postdoctoral Scholar Award, followed by a Marie Skłodowska-Curie International Outgoing Fellowship to work at the Salk Institute  where I studied molecularly defined spinal circuits and their role in motor behaviour, using intersectional genetics and molecular biology.  I am now a Group Leader in the Department of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, focusing on the specification of task-selective spinal sensorimotor circuits. I regularly present at both clinical and basic science meetings in Europe, Canada and the United States and review articles for both specialised and high impact journals. My laboratory is part of the Institute of Sensorimotor Neuroscience at UCL.