Giles Hardingham

Giles Hardingham is Professor of Molecular Neurobiology at The University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Integrative Physiology

We investigate the signalling events in the brain that are triggered by activity, and their impact on neuronal survival and death. Our work also examines the mechanisms that control the maturation and survival of neurons during early life.

This image shows a three-dimensional reconstruction of a eGFP-expressing cortical neuron, using a confocal Z-stack followed by deconvolution. The reconstruction was performed in order to estimate the volume of a neuron’s cell body, compared to its dendrites, in order to model spatial signalling pathways in neuronal development.

My laboratory is interested in the core signalling pathways and gene expression programs that influence neuronal health and brain homeostasis.

My work encompasses neurodegenerative processes in end-of-life disorders as well as the protective responses that help preserve neuronal function over many decades.

Additionally, our work focuses on neuronal health during development, when the brain is particularly susceptible to adverse conditions. This includes studies into the control of the developing brain’s antioxidant defenses and how these can be perturbed with neuropsychiatric consequences.

A key aim of my laboratory is to understand the role of NMDA receptor signalling during neuronal development in promoting neuronal resilience and connectivity. NMDA receptor genes are strongly linked to autism and intellectual disability, and in recent years many de novo mutations have been discovered in NMDA receptor genes in individuals with these disorders.

Another aim of our work is to understand the consequences of these mutations, both at the channel level and in terms of knock-on consequences for the development of the brain.


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