Wolfson Institute for Biomedical Research


Professor John Wood

FMedSci  FRS
Sensory Neurobiology

John Wood Photo

Tel: 020 7679 6954
Email: j.wood@ucl.ac.uk
IRIS Profile: https://iris.ucl.ac.uk/iris/browse/profile?upi=JNWOO78

Our research team focuses on genetic approaches to understanding the biology of damage-sensing neurons (nociceptors), somatosensation, pain and touch.

The past two decades have 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. Pain is still an enormous clinical problem, and new drugs are urgently required for a range of chronic pain syndromes.

Our group combines recombinant DNA technology, electrophysiology, gene targeting and behavioural approaches to explore the channels, receptors, transcription factors and regulatory pathways that control nociceptor excitability. We collaborate closely with human geneticists and clinicians, using mouse models to unravel molecular mechanisms that underlie pain disorders.  We also take part in early-stage drug discovery programmes based on targets we identify in the lab.

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. As well as providing information about pain pathways, the systems we study have a broad relevance to understanding how the nervous system works, in terms of synaptic plasticity, responses to environmental stimuli, sensation and behaviour.

Academic Career
  • 2001-present Professor, UCL
  • Wellcome foundation and Sandoz Institute - Group Leader
  • Visiting Professor Harvard, Seoul National University
  • 2009 FMedSci, FRS
  • 1976-1979 The Pasteur Institute, Paris
  • 1976 PhD University of Warwick
  • 1972 MSc University of Warwick
  • 1971 BSc University of Leeds
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