UCL School of Pharmacy

Prof Kirsten Harvey

Prof Kirsten Harvey

Professor of Molecular Neuroscience and Cell Biology


UCL School of Pharmacy

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2012

Research summary

My research has focused on two main aspects of neurobiology, the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease and trapping and accumulation of inhibitory receptors at synapses. In my laboratory, we employ cell biological, biochemistry and proteomic techniques in an effort to: i) discover how pathogenic mutations in PARK genes lead to neuronal death, ii) uncover new leads for genetic analysis and iii) identify new therapeutic targets for disease modifying treatment. My current research focus is on the physiological and pathological role of the Parkinson’s disease protein LRRK2 in Wnt signalling and cytoskeletal function. In addition, I continue to research the role of proteins important for receptor clustering such as gephyrin and collybistin in inhibitory receptor clustering and intellectual disability.

Teaching summary

UCL School of Pharmacy Divisional Graduate Tutor for approximately 175 postgraduate research students. My main role is to oversee induction, progression and examination of graduate students and implement and monitor the Graduate School Codes of Practice. This includes ensuring supervisors are qualified according to UCL regulations and that facilities are in place before admitting new postgraduate students. Another important role is to mediate between students and supervisors in the case of disputes.

Master of Pharmacy Program: For 4th year students I lead the Pharmacology Option 1, designed, lead and teach the Pharmacology Module ‘Women’s Health’ and supervise home and Erasmus projects. In addition, I teach on cardiovascular and neurological disorders to 2nd year students and on the scientific basis of pharmacy to 1st year students.


Universitat Hamburg
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2000
Universitat Hamburg
Doctorate, Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery | 1997


Dr Kirsten Harvey received her medical degree in 1997 and was awarded her PhD in 2000 from the University of Hamburg, Germany. During her postdoctoral training from 1999-2005 at the School of Pharmacy in London she studied glycine receptors containing the alpha3 subunit, and glycine receptors and Parkinson's disease. In February 2005, Dr Kirsten Harvey started her independent research career as a Lecturer and currently holds a position as Professor of Molecular Neuroscience and Cell Biology at the UCL School of Pharmacy. The focus of her research is on neurodegenerative diseases, Wnt signalling and inhibitory receptor clustering.