I studied for a BSc.Hons in Genetics at the University of Leeds. Following a brief period in London (Charing Cross & Westminster Hospital) developing a model of human artificial skin for research into Psoriasis, I returned to Genetics in order to obtain training in molecular genetics techniques and undertook an MSc in Molecular Biology at the University of Leicester.
From then, I have applied molecular approaches to the study of protein trafficking and developed recombinant enzymatic markers (based on Horseradish Peroxidase) to help delineate the protein transport pathways in animal cells and obtained a PhD in Cell Biology from University College London on this work. I then applied my molecular and cell biological training to investigate the biogenesis and trafficking of GABA(A) receptors at the MRC LMCB, London before arriving in Dundee in 1999 to continue these studies into receptor trafficking. In Dundee, I expanded my interests into the related 5-HT3 receptors and we are identifying trafficking mechanisms that control the delivery of new receptors to the cell surface and their subsequent removal. Our interests in both excitatory and inhibitory receptors spurred a project into the early neuronal responses to hyperactivity, such as the loss of synapses, dendritic beading and mitochondrial depolarisation/structural collapse. More recently, we have become interested in how these alterations in excitation and inhibition relate to chronic neurological conditions, in both humans and insects (honeybees and bumblebees) and we have a great interest in the impact of environmental toxins on human (and insect) health.