UCL Division of Biosciences

Prof Stefan Trapp

Prof Stefan Trapp

Professor of Autonomic Neuroscience and Metabolic Disease

Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology

Div of Biosciences

Joined UCL
1st Oct 2013

Research summary

The research in our lab aims at a greater understanding of the role of the brain in metabolic disease, particularly diabetes mellitus, obesity, and co-morbidities such as autonomic dysfunction. Supported primarily by the MRC and recently also the EFSD and Diabetes UK, we are using transgenic models combined with pharmacogenetics, and a combination of molecular, optical, immunocytochemical and electrophysiological techniques to address these questions in vitro and in vivo. Over the years our work has been concerned with metabolic regulation of neuronal excitability under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. This ranges from the mechanisms underlying ischemic and anaesthetic preconditioning, via molecular mechanisms of glucosensing in the vagal nucleus, to the role of glucagon-like-peptide (GLP)-1 secreting neurones in the brainstem.


Dr Trapp is Professor of Autonomic Neuroscience and Metabolic Disease and, together with Professor Alexander Gourine, heads the UCL Center for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Neuroscience (CCMN). He trained as a biologist at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany. He obtained his PhD at the Georg August University in Goettingen, Germany, with studies on the cellular physiology of vagal neurons and the first description of ATP-sensitive potassium channels in autonomic neurons. Dr Trapp then relocated as a DFG-Fellow to Oxford in order to study the molecular properties of these channels in detail with Prof Frances Ashcroft, FRS. Subsequently, he obtained a Career Development Award from the MRC and established the Autonomic Lab, first at University College London, and then at Imperial where he became a Lecturer in 2006 and Senior Lecturer in 2008. Dr Trapp joined UCL's Department of Neuroscience, Physiology & Pharmacology in 2013.