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UCL Division of Biosciences

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Prof John Wood

Prof John Wood

Professor of Molecular Neurobiology

Wolfson Inst for Biomedical Research

Div of Medicine

Joined UCL
7th Mar 1998

Research summary

See Molecular Nociception website http://www.ucl.ac.uk/molecular-nociception-group/ for papers, interests and present group membership. The Molecular Nociception Group focuses on genetic approaches to understanding the biology of damage-sensing neurons, somatosensation, pain and touch The past decade has seen a revolution in our understanding of the receptor systems and regulatory pathways that underlie the responses of these specialised cells to the occurrence of tissue damage. This has important implications for human health and disease. Our group combines recombinant DNA technology, electrophysiology and gene targeting and behavioural approaches to explore the channels, receptors, transcription factors and regulatory pathways that control nociceptor excitability. UCL provides an exciting environment for basic neuroscience and clinical interactions. We collaborate with research groups in Europe, the United States, Korea, Japan and Australia, using transgenic mouse models, natural products and cloned genes to explore the physiology of pain perception. The systems we study have a broad relevance to understanding how the nervous system works, in terms of synaptic plasticity, responses to environmental stimuli and sensation and behaviour. Recent highlights include the development of technology to ablate genes only in nociceptors, trans-synaptic mapping of central pain pathways, and insights into the action of BDNF at dorsal horn synapses that underlie altered pain behaviour. In addition, our identification with Geoff Woods of Nav1.7 as a key player in pain pathways, together with the development of specific blockers has major clinical relevance.

Education

University of Warwick
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 1976
University of Warwick
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 1972
University of Leeds
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1971
Publications