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We work to find molecular mechanisms that control the activity of nerve cells involved in cognitive processes such as learning and memory, motor behaviour and metabolism.

Genetic tool for cell-specific gene manipulations

Restoration of neuronal functions requires that we first understand how nerve cells function at the cellular and molecular level, and how they work together in complex neural networks to facilitate specific behavioural functions.


Therefore, our ongoing work involves elucidating how alteration of neurotrophin signalling or other molecules of interest in specific neurons contribute to neurological conditions such as cognitive and basal ganglia movement disorders, or to metabolic dysfunctions.


To address these, we have established several state-of-the-art technologies in the laboratory including spatially restricted genetic manipulation, global gene expression analysis of neuronal cell populations and of single neurons (RNA-seq), intracellular signalling and protein chemistry. These molecular technologies are integrated with physiological readouts such as behaviour, metabolic phenotyping, histology and imaging.


Long-term goal:

We believe that understanding how particular cell types in the brain control specific behaviours is the foundation to improve treatments and inform the development of new therapies.


Our team

Selected publications

External Collaborators

Prof Andres R Floto (Cambridge University, UK)

Ass Prof Avraham Yaron (The Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel)

Prof Steve Lacroix (Université Laval, Québec (QC), Canada)

Dr Joseph Avruch (Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Boston, USA)

Prof Enrico Cherubini (International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), Italy)

Pro. José M Delgado García (Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Sevilla, Spain)

Research funding

  • The BBSRC
  • The Wellcome Trust

Scholarships from

  • The Medical Research Council (MRC)
  • The Clarendon
  • The China Scholarship Council (CSC)
  • The China Oxford Scholarship Fund (COSF
  • The Onassis Foundation

Related research themes