Ewch i’r prif gynnwys

Modelau a Dulliau

Mae'r cynnwys hwn ar gael yn Saesneg yn unig.

Neurons under a microscope

Mae ein gwaith yn anelu i ddatgelu dulliau biolegol y mae genynnau a digwyddiadau bywyd yn dylanwadu ar swyddogaeth yr ymennydd ac ymddygiad mewn iechyd a chlefyd.

Why models?

The key advantage of utilising model systems is that we can simplify and isolate specific components of biological processes to help us understand how brain function and behaviour works optimally in health and how these processes can go wrong in disease states.

From Molecules to Organisms

We investigate brain function at the level of cells, circuits and behaving animals. Biochemical and molecular approaches in cells can be very important in getting off first base where little or nothing is known about the biological function of a molecule, for example a protein that may have been implicated in brain disease by methods such as genetic screening carried out by colleagues in the MRC CNGG.

We also exploit the rapid advances in knowledge about stem cells to create disease-relevant cellular models “brain diseases in a dish”, which we can then use to dissect out the biological processes that go wrong in the disease.

We complement our cellular work with studies of brain function in model organisms which allows us to probe the workings of an intact brain across several levels of analysis, including:

  • neurochemical mechanisms involved in brain cell communication
  • plastic changes in brain function due to genetics and life experiences and 
  • coordinated electrical activity between different brain circuits underlying complex behavioural process such as perception, learning, and memory.

We perform these studies with a range of colleagues across Cardiff University, including Optometry & Vision Sciences, Biosciences, Psychology and the Behavioural Genetics Group, and external collaborators in Bristol, Cambridge and Bath.


We translate the information obtained in model systems back to humans in order to better understand pathogenic mechanisms and inform the development of better therapies.

Model systems are especially suitable in preclinical drug discovery. They allow us to probe the therapeutic potential of drugs targeting disease-relevant mechanisms. For instance, currently we are assessing the efficacy of drug compounds targeting biological processes (“AMPA” and “GABAA” receptors) highlighted by the latest genetic screen for schizophrenia obtained by colleagues in the MRC CNGG.

Theme leads

Yr Athro Lawrence Wilkinson

Yr Athro Lawrence Wilkinson

Scientific Director, Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute.

+44(0) 29 2068 8461
Yr Athro Derek Blake

Yr Athro Derek Blake

Professor of Neuroscience, MRC Centre for Neuropsychiatric Genetics & Genomics

+44 (0)29 2068 8468