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Neuroscience

Layer 5-pyramidal cell

Layer 5-pyramidal cell

The Neuroscience division pursues a broad range of neurobiological research, spanning from the molecular to the behavioural levels. Research areas include: neuronal development; molecular and cellular neuroscience; neurophysiology; synaptic plasticity, learning and memory; and neurodegeneration and the ageing nervous system. We strive to integrate our research to provide a better understanding of the function of the healthy nervous system and the mechanisms leading to neurological disease states. A primary objective is to translate our knowledge into pharmacological and cell based therapies and improved clinical practise.

The Division is member of the Cardiff Neuroscience Centre (CNC), which brings together research in neuroscience, psychology and psychiatric genetics and genomics. The Neuroscience Division also hosts the experimental MRI centre (EMRIC) and Brain Repair Group, and is a major participant in the Wellcome Trust 4 year PhD programme in Integrative Neuroscience.

Professor Vincenzo Crunelli (Head of Division) Molecular, genetic and cellular mechanisms that operate in single neurons and neuronal networks of the thalamus and cortex during the expression of different stages of sleep and the generation of epileptic syndromes.

Professor Frank Sengpiel (Deputy Head of Division)
Developmental plasticity in the visual cortex and developmental disorders of vision.

Professor Nick Allen
The mechanisms of neural differentiation of human and mouse embryonic stem cells with the aim of developing protocols to direct the differentiation of neural progenitors to acquire specific neural fates and phenotypes.

Professor Yves Barde
Molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying brain function in health and disease

Dr Stéphane Baudouin

Dr Riccardo Brambilla
The roles of intracellular signalling pathways in learning and memory

Professor David Carter
Mechanisms that regulate gene expression in neurons in response to physiological stimuli, and also during pathological states.

Professor Steve Dunnett and Professor Anne Rosser co-direct the Brain Repair Group whose mission is to develop cell based therapies for Neurodegenerative disease, especially Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, based on primary fetal, progenitor and stem cell transplantation in the brain.

Professor Kevin Fox  
The molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying sensory processing and synaptic plasticity in the cerebral cortex.

Professor William Gray

Professor Adrian Harwood 
Neuro cell biology, mental disorders and psychotropic drugs. 

Professor Tim Jacob
How and why we detect odours, whether smell discrimination is innate and to what extent we use smell to communicate.

Professor Meng Li
Neuronal subtype specification of pluripotent stem cells, their use in elucidating the cellular basis of mental disorders, and transplantation-based cell therapy.

Dr Guy Major
The fundamental computations carried out by small neural networks, including the generation of local spikes, plateau potentials and direction selectivity in single cortical pyramidal neuron dendrites.

Dr David McGonigle
Function of the somatosensory system in both health and disease, the neural correlates of skill training and perceptual learning in sensory systems.

Dr Kerrie Thomas
Molecular, cellular and neural processes that underlie long-term memory, particularly emotional memory.

Dr Tim Wells
Regulation of neuroendocrine and endocrine processes by metabolic status, with particular interest in the actions of ghrelin.

Prof Lawrence Wilkinson (Affiliated Research Staff)
Genetic and epigenetic mechanisms influencing brain function and behaviour in normal and diseased states

Dr Sean Wyatt
Mechanisms that lead to the acquisition of distinct functional phenotypes by different subsets of adult peripheral sensory neurons.


Affiliated Teaching Staff

Research Areas

Neural differentiation of human and mouse stem cells. Gene regulation in response to physiological stimuli. Molecular, genetic and cellular mechanism operating in sleep and in the generation of epileptic syndromes. Mood stabilizers and the cellular basis of bipolar mood disorder. Advanced optical techniques for imaging dendritic spines and calcium dynamics. Ghrelin and the regulation of neuroendocrine processes. Functional differentiation of adult peripheral sensory neurons. Neural circuits and olfactory discrimination in humans. Ion channel regulation by protein phosphorylation. Intracellular signalling in learning and memory. Mechanisms of neuronal plasticity in the cerebral cortex Neuro-imaging of plasticity and sensory processing. Plasticity in the developing visual system. Molecular, cellular and neural processes of long-term and emotional memory The effects of ageing on spinal autonomic circuitry Synuclein function in the healthy and degenerating nervous system. Ageing in the autonomic nervous system Cell based therapies for Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease.