Our Neuroscience Research

Neuroscience research within the Medical School encompasses laboratory research into biological mechanisms underpinning nervous system function and clinical research into neurological disorders including Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and Epilepsy. The aim of our work is to provide a better understanding of brain function to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disease.

Lab researchers of the Neuroscience teams

Areas of Research Focus

There are 9.9million new cases of neurodegeneration each year, 7,000 new cases of multiple sclerosis in the UK and more than 10million people living with Parkinsons Disease world wide. Taking an interdisciplinary approach working with scientific researchers and clinicians our main research focus areas are to better understand these diseases in the hope new therapies and improved treatments can be found for patients. 

Research Outcomes

Neuroscience research led by academics within the Medical School work to understand the fundamental mechanisms underpinning function in the healthy and diseased nervous system. Our research teams work collaboratively to identify molecular and cellular hallmarks of neurodegenerative diseases. We work closely with other disciplines, including, neurologists, engineers, chemists, data-scientists, as well as industrial partners to accelerate novel innovations in neuroscience.

Neuroscience research lab images

Meningeal inflammation and cortical demyelination in acute multiple sclerosis

Our findings demonstrate that cortical demyelination, neuronal loss and meningeal inflammation are notable pathological hallmarks of acute MS and support the need to identify early biomarkers of this pathology to better predict outcome.

Cholesterol metabolites in Parkinson's disease diagnosis and therapy.

Parkinson's disease (PD) is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system. We and others have previously shown that endogenous cholesterol metabolites are key factors for neurogenesis and neuronal survival. We currently study the function and mechanism of action of specific cholesterol metabolites that are up- or down-regulated in PD patients. Our aim is to utilise these metabolites as well as related compounds to ameliorate PD symptoms in rodent models of PD.

Image under microscope

Unacylated-Ghrelin impairs neurogenesis and memory, and is altered in Parkinson’

The gut-hormone acyl-ghrelin (AG) is known to promote adult hippocampal neurogenesis. We combine in vitro and in vivo rodent models, alongside analysis of human plasma, to show that unacylated-ghrelin (UAG) impairs neurogenesis and that the circulating AG:UAG ratio is reduced in Parkinson’s dementia. These findings identify a possible new approach to diagnosing dementia in PD and offer new drug targets.

MS Images

A New Method to Map Cholesterol Metabolism in Brain

A team of researchers in Swansea University with collaborators in Sheffield Hallam University have developed a new technology to determine the location and amounts of cholesterol and its metabolites in brain tissue. The research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA shows the major locations of cholesterol in brain and what molecules it can be converted to.

Affiliated Researchers

Dr Roberto Angelini

Lecturer, Biomedical Sciences
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Jeffrey Davies

Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 602209
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Professor William Griffiths

Professor in Mass Spectrometry, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 295562
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Owain Howell

Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 295066
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Alwena Morgan

Senior Lecturer, Biomedical Sciences
+44 (0) 1792 602051
Available For Postgraduate Supervision

Dr Owen Pickrell

Honorary Associate Professor, Medicine
+44 (0) 1792 295134
Available For Postgraduate Supervision