UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Prof James Jepson

Prof James Jepson

Professor of Neurogenetics

Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy

UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

Joined UCL
1st Jun 2014

Research summary

The primary goal of my lab is to use the fruit fly, Drosophila, as a model to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurological disease, particularly those involving involuntary movements (such as dystonia and dyskinesia) and seizures. To do so, we utilise an array of state-of-the-art techniques, including gene editing, electrophysiology, optical imaging, transcriptomics, and genetic modifier screens. In parallel, we have an interest in characterising novel genes and neural circuits influencing sleep in Drosophila

Teaching summary

Dr. Jepson lectures on several MSc courses at UCL, including Human Genetics and Clinical Neuroscience. His lectures focus on the use of Drosophila as a model to understand the mechanistic basis of neurological disease, and patho-mechanisms underling hyperkinetic movement disorders such as dystonia and dyskinesia. 


Dr. James Jepson attained his degree from Imperial College (BSc, Biology) and his DPhil from Oxford University. He then undertook post-doctoral research in the US, first at Brown University (studying behavioural roles of RNA editing in Drosophila) and subsequently at Thomas Jefferson University (studying the genetic basis of circadian rhythms and sleep). He started his own laboratory at UCL Queen Square Institue of Neurology in 2014. Since then, his lab has published an array of studies of novel disease models (Cell Reports, Brain, Movement Disorders) and the neurogenetic basis of sleep in Drosophila (eLife, Current Biology, Scientific Reports). He obtained a MRC New Investigator Award in 2017, was promoted to Principal Research Fellow in 2019, and was awarded a MRC Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship to study the mechanistic basis of dystonia in 2021. In 2022 he was promoted to Professor of Neurogenetics.