Mike Stewart is a Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Life, Health and Chemical Sciences at the Open University. His group's main recent research activities have been concerned with investigating morphological correlates of experiential and disease-induced changes in the mammalian CNS, both in vivo and ex vivo. He has also been involved with the development and application of image analysis techniques (especially quantitative autoradiography and quantitative morphometry) to investigation of problems involving cellular neurobiology. Mike was Chair of the local organising committee for the Federation of European Neuroscience (FENS) Committee Millennium Meeting (Brighton UK). He is a member of the EDAB (European Dana Alliance) and was a member of the FENS school committee. He is currently Treasurer elect of FENS.
His current research interest involves investigations of the morphological basis of synaptic plasticity and neurodegeneration in the mammalian hippocampus. State of the art technologies are used in order to examine changes that occur at hippocampal synapses following both long-term potentiation (LTP) and spatial training using the Morris water maze. In addition, unbiased morphometric analyses are used in order to reliably quantify synaptic change. The rationale being that utilisation of both LTP and spatial learning is the basis for revealing common cellular mechanisms. This research utilises morphometrical analysis of dendritic spine populations as well as quantification of immediate early gene expression in order to determine the precise localisation of synaptic change in the hippocampus following learning in established paradigms. He held major grants from the EU FP6 programme PROMEMORIA which involves 14 other research groups and more recently an EU FP7 award, value 3.9 million Euros MEMSTICK, with 6 partner laboratories. Mike also has held a number of BBSRC grants, most recently an award to develop novel methods of 3D reconstrcution of neural circuitry