Neuropharmacology & Cellular Neuroscience research at the Aberdeen IMS focuses on genomic, cellular and molecular aspects of brain function such as gene regulatory systems, receptors and intracellular signalling cascades, how we can manipulate these and how they are altered to cause diseases.

Research focuses especially on how nerve cells react and interact with each other, and how information is transmitted within a given cell or from one cell to another. We also explore how disease causing polymorphisms and epigenetic changes alter the genomic mechanisms that control normal gene expression and function. We investigate how neuronal communication leads to physical (re-)actions, ranging from motor coordination to spatial orientation and learning.

Mechanisms and components relevant to general neurophysiology, development and disease are investigated using genetic as well as pharmacological tools and a wide range of specialist experimental procedures.


Key research topics:

  • Glutamatergic, cholinergic and dopaminergic signalling
  • G-protein coupled receptors and intracellular cascades
  • Cannabinoid receptors
  • Drug discovery and testing
  • Protein handling and aggregation
  • Post-translational modifications
  • Polymorphisms, epigenetics and gene regulation


  • Patch-clamp, intracellular and field recordings
  • Time-lapse cellular imaging
  • Histology & Microscopy
  • Protein quantification
  • Mouse transgenic production and analysis
  • Cell cultures and transfection
  • Molecular biology
  • Genome Bioinformatics