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Dr Emma Lane

Dr Emma Lane

Senior Lecturer in Neuropharmacology & Director of Postgraduate Research

School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

+44 (0)29 2087 4989
+44 (0)29 2087 4149
Media commentator



  • B.Sc. in Pharmacology, University College London, 2000
  • Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology, King's College London, 2004

External Positions and Activities



Guest editor for special INTR12 issue of NeuroReport

Editor for Pharmacology Research and Perspectives



Society for Neuroscience Wales Chapter representative

Member of expert group contributing to Guiding Principles for Behavioural Studies Using Animals (LASA/BAP/BNA/ESWAAP collaboration)




President of Network for European CNS Transplantation and Restoration (NECTAR)

Review Editor for Frontiers in Neuroscience

Associate Editor for Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience

Funding bodies which support my work

Community Engagement:

Relevant websites


  • 2015 – onwards Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • 2009-2015, Lecturer in Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • 2006-2009, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Brain Repair Centre, Department of Neuroscience, Cardiff University
    Working with Prof Stephen Dunnett and Prof Anne Rosser I continued my work on L-dopa and post-transplantation dyskinesia contributing to two successful EU FP7 grant awards.
  • 2004-2006, Post-Doctoral Research Associate, Units of Neuronal Survival and Basal Ganglia Pathophysiology, Lund University, Sweden.
    I spent 2 years in Sweden with the groups of Prof Patrik Brundin and Prof Angela Cenci developing, characterizing and working with a model of post-transplantation dyskinesia
  • 2000-2004, PhD, King's College London, UK
    I had a BBSRC CASE award studentship with Prof Peter Jenner and Dr Sharon Cheetham (then Knoll Pharmaceuticals) on the potential of BTS 74398, a monoamine uptake inhibitor, as a possible anti-parkinsonian medication.
  • 1996-2000, Pharmacology B.Sc. Honours 1st Class with industrial placement, University College London, UK.
    Specialising in neuropharmacology options and spending an industrial year at Knoll Pharmaceuticals working on the pharmacology of the anti-obesity agent sibutramine.

Honours and awards

Grant awards - research

    £5 575

    Rivastigmine and quality of life in patients with Parkinson’s disease dementia, Role:PI Neurodem/NISCHR Research Development Group (2014 – ongoing)

    £12 500

    Optimising cell transplantation - BioE Sartre award, total award £25 000 from March 1st 2014 – ongoing: Role: Co-PI With J. Davies (Swansea University)

    £5 000

    Optimising MEMRI - Seed-corn funding from NMH RI – (2011) Role: Co-I with R. Trueman (BIOSI - PI) and S. Paisey (EMRIC)

    £14 978

    Scanning changes in functional brain activity associated with dyskinesia in parkinsonian rats, Parkinson’s Disease Society Innovations grant. Role: PI (2009-10)

    £41 622

    1 year Wellcome Trust Value In People Award. 2008-2009

    £338 975

    REPLACES: Restorative plasticity and corticostriatal excitatory synapses. EU FP7 small and medium collaborative research programme HEALTH 2007-2.2.1-7. Role: Co-I with expertise in L-DOPA induced dyskinesia and behavioural assessments, SB Dunnett PI Cardiff (2008-2012)

    £8 600

    Does the storage of embryonic tissue prior to transplantation affect immune responses to the graft and the development of graft induced dyskinesis Parkinsonfonden (Sweden) – Role: PI (2006-2009)

    £7 400

    Pharmacological investigation into amphetamine induced dyskinesia Parkinsonfonden (Sweden) Role: PI (2005-2007)

    Grant awards - public engagement


    Society for Neuroscience (US) Public engagement grant for the Brain Games, match funded with £1000 by NMHRI - PI


    Royal Society Public engagement grant - Co-applicant (with lead Fiona Wyllie, BIOSI)

Professional memberships






















Academic lead of MPharm (3rd year)

Member of Program Management Group. Assessment Steering Group (ASIG). PDP development team,

Module leader of PH3113 (Drugs and diseases II)

Personal Tutor

Contribution to MPharm modules:

  • PH1124 Human Body Systems (Nervous Systems)
  • PH1121 Molecule to Patient
  • PH1122 The Role of the Pharmacist in Professional Practice
  • PH3113 Drugs and Diseases II
  • PH3202 Research Methodology
  • PH4116 Pharmacy Research Project
  • OSCE examination marker, pre/post-placement workshop facilitator


Director of Post-graduate Research Studies

  • Lectures on Research Students' Skills Development Programme:
  • 'In Vivo Methods: An Introduction'
  • PhD student supervision

Research interests

Member of the School's Medicines Optimisation and Health Outcomes and Experimental therapeutics and Pharmaceutical Sciences research disciplines.

Parkinson's disease

Parkinson's disease is a largely sporadic disorder which affects around 120 000 people in the UK. It is most commonly described as a motor disorder, with the cardinal features of resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability. The main pathology is the loss of the melanised dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal pathway and the development of protein accumulations immunopositive for the protein a-synuclein.

I have two main research interests, straddling the clinical and pre clinical research areas.  I am interested in Parkinson’s patient outcomes and how clinical interventions can influence those outcomes.  I work closely with clinical colleagues that run the Parkinson’s service in Cardiff and Vale and Abertawe Bro Morgannog University Health Boards.  We have instituted a new electronic health record and ipad based pre assessment records.  Research is focusing on how these clinical support tools are facilitating patient care.

Secondly I am interested in how therapeutic approaches to the treatment of Parkinson’s disease cause side effects.  Many of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease can be well controlled in the early stages with dopaminergic drugs therapies, however as the disease develop, the main treatment for Parkinson's disease, L-dopa, causes the development of abnormal involuntary movements. These can be severely debilitating and there are currently few pharmaceutical interventions to prevent or ameliorate them. Understanding the features that predispose for the development of L-dopa induced dyskinesia may increase our ability to identify patients at greater risk and avoid or minimise them with careful management of medication. Furthermore, the effects of L-dopa may go beyond motor activation and I am interested in the possible effects of long-term L-dopa administration on motor learning and habit formation using in vivo models of PD and dyskinesia.

Not only do dyskinesia develop, but medication become less effective at treating the motor symptoms of PD as the disease progresses. Transplantation of foetal tissue into the striatum can replace the lost dopaminergic innervation and can produce remarkable improvements in motor function. However, clinical trials have identified issues that need to be carefully considered before further clinical trial of embryonic tissue or cells from alternative sources (ie stem cells) can be attempted, including reliability and reproducibility of positive results, access to sources of embryonic tissue and alternative cell types and most notably the issue of transplantation-induced side effects. Three clinical trials of transplantation with embryonic tissue have now reported the development of dyskinesia in transplanted patients unrelated to their medication, to the extent that several have required further surgical interventions to ameliorate their symptoms. The main focus of my research over the last few years has been in determining mechanisms and contributing risk factors for the development of post-transplantation dyskinesia in order that transplantation can proceed unhindered into the next phase of clinical trials.  I am now moving towards furthering our understanding of how stem cell derived sources of dopaminergic neurons can be affected by the disease and the treatment of it.


Current supervision

Mengru Song

Research student