Expert Details

Expert in Behavioural Pharmacology of animal models of aggression, anxiety, depression and schizophrenia.

Expert ID: 731142 United Kingdom

Request Expert

Aggressive behaviour in mice.

Expert's research concerning the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) has delineated a role of for the subreceptors 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B in the control of murine agonistic behaviour. These results suggest the important potential of 5-HT1A agents for the control of anxiety and agonistic behavior.

Considerable controversy still exists concerning the role of 5-HT1A receptors in murine aggression. Our data corroborate some, but not all, previous reports for the role of these sites in aggression. Expert will also examine the role of 5-HT2 5-HT3 and 5-HT4 receptors in murine social and agonistic behaviour, since disagreement centres on whether 5-HT1B or 5-HT2 or 5-HT3 or 5-HT4 receptors influence aggression via an anxiogenic effect.

Closed Head Injury patients and aggression.

Part of the data collection for this work will be undertaken by a current PhD student. This project is based upon the established relationship between aspects of brain function and aggression and will focus on the assessment of this behaviour pre and post trauma.

The pre-morbid personality of brain-injured individuals is a variable that has received limited study in relation to post-morbid aggression. Importantly, studies have often found that relatives of the brain-injured patient report that he/she has undergone a 'personality change' after the injury and that these individuals show an increase in threats of violence. However, some studies indicate that this shift to aggression is not an unavoidable consequence of brain injury but depends very much upon the individual’s pre-morbid personality. Hence brain injury may simply exacerbate a pre-existing proclivity towards aggressive behaviour. The paucity of experimentation examining this variable, however, prohibits any firm conclusions from being drawn. This study attempts to assess how brain-injured individuals' pre-morbid aggressive behaviour is linked to their post-morbid aggression, by employing retrospective ratings from their relatives.

Serotonergic receptors and animal models of anxiety – the elevated zero maze. Interest in the role of 5-HT2 in anxiety developed during the mid-1980s and although numerous pre-clinical studies that have been carried out since, the role of this sub-receptor in anxiety remains to be elucidated. His current experiments have examined the effects of the 5-HT2C agonist and antagonist MK-212 and RS 102221 in the elevated zero-maze model of anxiety. While, in line with previous research, the results with MK-212 may have been interpreted to suggest that 5-HT2C agonism is associated with sedation, closer examination of the data suggested a profile indicative of anxiogenesis. In relation to RS 102221, results suggested that, while the lower doses of this drug resulted in motor disturbance (perhaps due to the non-selective nature of this drug), the higher dose of this drug resulted in anxiolysis. He and postgraduate students propose to continue to use this animal model of anxiety to determine the role of 5-HT3 and 5-HT4 receptors in this behaviour.

Psychosis - Latent Inhibition (LI) in rats.

Expert has developed a paradigm which employs latent inhibition in the rat as an animal model of psychosis. This work was performed Department of Therapeutics and Pharmacology, QUB, and two PhD students demanded considerable effort in producing computer software to monitor stimuli and record the animals’ behavioural responses. The purpose of this research is to use the model of latent inhibition in the rat to assess the potential clinical efficacy of new compounds developed as neuroleptic agents. To-date, he and another professor have tested the effects of proven neuroleptic compounds such as haloperidol, clozapine and remoxipride which demonstrate an enhancement of LI. The data obtained for atypical neuroleptics, such as clozapine, demonstrates the robustness of the LI model in that this paradigm can detect neuroleptic-like actions that result from manipulations of neurotransmitters other than dopamine. Expert and the professor are now proceeding to evaluate the influences of novel compounds on LI with a view to assessing potential clinical applications. Funds received from Zeneca (£15,000) will be used towards this research.

Psychosis - Latent Inhibition (LI) in healthy volunteers / schizophrenic patients.

Expert based on our animal work, to assess LI in healthy volunteers and schizophrenics. Preliminary data with the antipsychotic agent chlorpromazine indicate a successful demonstration of the compound’s enhancement of LI in healthy volunteers; a result consistent with our animal data. This paradigm will be used in conjunction with other psychological (CANTAB software) and physiological (eye movement tests) to assess the onset/treatment of schizophrenia.

He has two PhD students working on this project and have submitted applications to funding bodies seeking financial support for this research concerning LI in rats and LI in healthy volunteers.


Expert was invited by researchers in America and Europe to collaborate on a meta-analysis of findings for the relationship between serotonin and aggression. This work resulted in a substantial paper accepted by the prestigious journal Psychological Bulletin for publication (see Selected Publications section).Within Queen’s University Belfast, he was invited to collaborate on research concerning mood and bipolar disorder. Expert researched concerns with patients who had suffered traumatic brain injuries.

Education

Year Degree Subject Institution
Year: 1978 Degree: PhD Subject: Psychology Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Year: 1974 Degree: BSc Subject: Psychology Institution: Queen's University Belfast

Work History

Years Employer Title Department Responsibilities
Years: 1980 to 2012 Employer: Undisclosed Title: Senior Lecturer in Psychology Department: Undisclosed Responsibilities: Delivery of undergraduate courses in Psychology.
Delivery of postgraduate courses in Psychology.
Supervision of undergraduate projects.
Supervision of postgraduate research.
Various administration responsibilities.
Years: 1978 to 1980 Employer: University of Ulster. Title: Undisclosed Department: Psychology. Responsibilities: Delivery of undergraduate courses in Psychology.
Delivery of postgraduate courses in Psychology.
Supervision of undergraduate projects.
Supervision of postgraduate research.
Various administration responsibilities.

Government Experience

Years Agency Role Description
Years: 1989 to 1992 Agency: Agricultural Research Institute of Northern Ireland Role: Lead researcher Description: Expert investigated maternal aggression in pigs: Effects of prostaglandin F2 alpha on pre and post partum sows.

Career Accomplishments

Associations / Societies
Professional affiliations previously held.
Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
Registered with British Psychological Society as a Chartered Psychologist.
Member of the British Association for Psychopharmacology.
Member of the New York Academy of Science.
Member of the Irish Neuroscience and Clinical Research Group.
Professional Appointments
Administrative responsibilities.
Within QUB, I held the post of Associate Dean for Postgraduate Affairs in the Faculty of Science and Agriculture (2003 – 2006). This role entailed, inter alia:
1. Chair of the Faculty Postgraduate Research Committee.
2. Co-ordination of postgraduate admissions, progress and results.
3. Postgraduate problems/disciplinary matters.
4. Membership of appropriate University committees.
5. Member of Faculty DEL Awards Committee.
6. Liaison with the University’s Postgraduate Committee, Research Office.
7. Monitoring and redrafting, where necessary, postgraduate degree regulations.
8. Represent the Dean on matters concerning postgraduate research degrees and students.
9. Ensuring that postgraduate programmes operate in accordance with the Faculty and University regulations.

Within the School of Psychology, I have performed the following duties:
(i) Postgraduate Research Students Tutor.
(ii) Organisation of undergraduate laboratory classes.
(iii) Organisation of undergraduate theses.
(iv) Acting Stage 3 Course Tutor
(v) Maintenance of research records in the School of Psychology.
(vi) Advisor of Studies (September, 2001)
Membership of School, Faculty and University Committees.
Within the School of Psychology, I have served on the following committees:
Postgraduate Research Committee.
Research Committee.
Teaching and Learning Committee.
COSHE.
Health and Safety Committee.
Publications and Patents Summary
Expert has published 49 papers.

Additional Experience

Training / Seminars
Lecturing experience.
Undergraduate.
Previously, he has designed and delivered the following courses to students in the School of Psychology:
L1 Basic Psychology (4 lectures).
L2 Psychobiology.
L2 Brain and behaviour (module co-ordinator).
L3 Neurobiology and behaviour (module co-ordinator).
L3 Psychopathology (module co-ordinator).
L3 Schizophrenia and depression: A biological perspective (module co-ordinator).
210PSY253 Psychobiology
110PSY373 Psychological Approaches to Mental Health
From a teaching administration point of view, he was module co-ordinator for:
110PSY302 Literature Review
110PSY373 Psychological Approaches to Mental Health
210PSY303 Literature Review
205PSY339 Neurobiology and Behaviour
315PSY301 Thesis

For each course, expert has prepared associated videos, handouts and revision notes. His teaching duties have also encompassed associated tutorials, seminars, practical classes, project and thesis supervision. More recently, he have made extensive use of Queen’s Online as a means of providing undergraduate lecture and resource material.
Other undergraduate courses.
Expert has also designed and delivered the following courses to students in:
Institute Continuing Education (ICE) BA (Part Time) “Drugs and Behaviour” module.
Department of Therapeutics and Pharmacology, School of Medicine.
Neuropsychopharmacology module: Lectures and demonstrations on the topics of
(i) Human aggressive behaviour.
(ii) Movement disorders.
(iii) Animal models of psychosis.
For this course, he has also prepared associated videos, handouts and revision notes.
Postgraduate (taught)
MSc. Clinical Psychology.
MSc. Developmental and Educational Psychology.
MRCPsych (1) (one lecture)
Successfully supervised 14 PhD students.
Other Relevant Experience
Administrative responsibilities.
Within QUB, expert held the post of Associate Dean for Postgraduate Affairs in the Faculty of Science and Agriculture (2003 – 2006). This role entailed, inter alia:
1. Chair of the Faculty Postgraduate Research Committee.
2. Co-ordination of postgraduate admissions, progress and results.
3. Postgraduate problems/disciplinary matters.
4. Membership of appropriate University committees.
5. Member of Faculty DEL Awards Committee.
6. Liaison with the University’s Postgraduate Committee, Research Office.
7. Monitoring and redrafting, where necessary, postgraduate degree regulations.
8. Represent the Dean on matters concerning postgraduate research degrees and students.
9. Ensuring that postgraduate programmes operate in accordance with the Faculty and University regulations.

Within the School of Psychology, he has performed the following duties:
(i) Postgraduate Research Students Tutor.
(ii) Organisation of undergraduate laboratory classes.
(iii) Organisation of undergraduate theses.
(iv) Acting Stage 3 Course Tutor
(v) Maintenance of research records in the School of Psychology.
(vi) Advisor of Studies (September, 2001)
Membership of School, Faculty and University Committees.
Within the School of Psychology, I have served on the following committees:
Postgraduate Research Committee.
Research Committee.
Teaching and Learning Committee.
COSHE.
Health and Safety Committee.

Language Skills

Language Proficiency
Spanish
French

Fields of Expertise

Request Expert

Dev Tool:

Request: expert/behavioural-pharmacology-of-animal-models-of-aggression-anxiety-depression-and-schizophrenia
Matched Rewrite Rule: expert/([^/]+)(?:/([0-9]+))?/?$
Matched Rewrite Query: experts=behavioural-pharmacology-of-animal-models-of-aggression-anxiety-depression-and-schizophrenia&page=
Loaded Template: single-experts.php