Neuroscience Research Group

The Neuroscience Group specialises in several related basic, translational and clinical areas and applies state-of-the art approaches to the study of normal processes and disease mechanisms.  There is basic research into neuroanatomy, cell physiology and pathology, development of new stem cell and other therapies for treatment of human disorders, and some of our research culminates in clinical trials and treatments in neurological diseases. Our work is based on multidisciplinary approaches to discover and treat the causes of disease and includes a wide range of approaches using different technologies such as single cell recording and systems physiology, nanoscale devices and nanoparticles, confocal and electron microscopy, and genetic studies.

In basic neuroscience, we conduct research into the molecular changes in the brain during development and pathology and the functioning of the auditory system at the organ, cellular and molecular level, along with the mechanisms of cortical and hippocampal plasticity. Development of in vitro models of neurological injury is also a major goal. Multidisciplinary studies investigate the application of nanotechnology and nanoscale devices for neural repair and neural circuit formation. There is also work on the functional variability of neurons in response to neuromodulation, the resulting changes in the functional neural circuits, and the computational modelling of these.

Some of our research is potentially translational, for example stem cell therapy to promote neural regeneration to treat diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and prevent hearing loss, along with the development of implantable materials to promote repair following spinal cord injury. 

In the clinical area, we are researching genetics in multiple sclerosis (MS) and the range of neuropsychological deficits following stroke, including clinical trials towards their treatment. 

Neuroscience Group Leader: Prof David Furness (interim lead)            Neurocience Group members

For postgraduate research opportunities please go to the Prospective Student page.



Dr Chris Adams invited to speak at the Daniel Turnberg Travel Fellowship Reception

Posted on 05 April 2018 Dr Chris Adams was recently invited to the Daniel Turnberg Travel Fellowship Reception to give a talk on his experiences of the scheme alongside two other fellows.

News features


Medical student awarded British Neuropathological Society Grant

Posted on 31 August 2017 Second year medical student, Will Woods, has been awarded a small grant worth £1,800 from the British Neuropathalogical Society.

2nd prize for poster presentation at SBNS/NANSIG Careers Day Conference 2018

Posted on 02 February 2018 Intercalating student, Louise Finch, won 2nd prize for her poster presentation at the Society of British Neurosurgeons (SBNS) and Neurology and Neurosurgey Interest Group (NANSIG) Careers Day Conference.

MRC Confidence in Concept funding for transplantation project

Posted on 31 July 2017 Prof Divya M Chari, Dr Chris Adams, Dr Niko Tzerakis, Dr Nicolas Granger & Dr Nick Jeffery: “Protective matrices for delivery of genetically augmented canine olfactory ensheathing cell transplants” – funded at £51,395 from 1 September 2017 for 12 months.

Nanoparticles in Neuroscience Book

Posted on 14 January 2018 Dr Stuart Jenkins and Professor Divya Chari contributed a chapter “A Stoichiometrically Defined Neural Coculture Model to Screen Nanoparticles for Neurological Applications” to the book 'Use of Nanoparticles in Neuroscience'.

Front cover feature

Posted on 12 January 2018 An image taken from a recent publication from Professor Divya Chari's laboratory at ISTM has featured as the cover of the January 2018 issue of the journal Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience

Keele student showcase highlights the future of medical research

Posted on 22 November 2017 Student doctors had the chance to present their research at the annual ASPIRE Research showcase at the School of Medicine.

Society for Nanomedicine Early Careers prize

Posted on 08 September 2017 3rd year Medical student George Solomou has been awarded the British Society of Nanomedicine Best Research Poster Prize at the Early Career Researchers Meeting, Belfast.

Neuroscience grant for intercalating medical student Louise Finch

Posted on 30 June 2017 Intercalating Keele medical student Louise Finch has been awarded a grant of almost £4,500 for her neuroscience project

Neuroscientist appointed to BBSRC Committee

Posted on 05 May 2017 Neuroscientist appointed to BBSRC Committee.

Academy of Medical Sciences best oral presentation prize

Posted on 30 November 2016 Newly appointed lecturer Dr Chris Adams was recently awarded the Oral Presentation Prize for best presentation at The Academy of Medical Sciences’ Daniel Turnberg Travel Fellowship Scheme Alumni Conference 2016.
Presentation to Neuroscience group 90x90  

First-of-its-kind Neuroscience research with UHNM

Posted on 20 October 2016 A grant for £20,000 has been awarded to researchers by the North Staffordshire Medical Institute, to fund a first-of-its-kind Neurosciences research study.
Stuart Jenkins and Chris Adams 2016 90x90  

Drs Stuart Jenkins & Chris Adams appointed to Lectureships

Posted on 14 October 2016 Drs Stuart Jenkins and Chris Adams were recently appointed to Lectureships in Neuroscience at the Keele Schools of Medicine and Life Sciences respectively
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Doug Caruana's Hippocampal Research gets a Jolt

Posted on 21 November 2016 Dr Douglas Caruana has won a £600,000 New Investigator grant from the BBSRC to examine the long-term effects on the brain of habitual high-dose caffeine use during adolescence.
Christine Roffe 2016 90x90  

Major funding boost for Stroke Research

Posted on 11 July 2016 Professor Christine Roffe has been awarded just under £2.5 million from the NIHR for Stroke Research.

Daniel Turnberg Travel Fellowship for Chris Adams

Posted on 29 April 2016 Dr Christopher Adams, ISTM, has been awarded a Daniel Turnberg Travel Fellowship to receive training at Bar-Ilan University, Tel-Aviv.
Curious Neurons by George Joseph 2016 90x90  

'Curious Neurons' awarded second prize by EPSRC

Posted on 24 March 2016 George Joseph was awarded second prize in the Eureka category of the Science Photo Competition 2015, by the EPSRC

Obituary for Professor James Heron

Posted on 10 March 2016 It is with great sadness that ISTM announces the death of Professor James Heron.

House of Commons poster presentation for ISTM's Mathew Dunn

Posted on 22 February 2016 Matthew Dunn, an EPSRC funded PhD student in the CDT for Regenerative Medicine, will be presenting his work to Members of Parliament on 7th March.
‘Blazing Neurons’ depicts the complexity of developing brain cells.  Image taken by George Joseph.  Image recognised in ‘Picturing Parkinson’s’, a national competition held by Parkinson’s UK December 2015  

ISTM PhD student recognised in national Parkinson’s research competition

Posted on 07 December 2015 Image by PhD student, George Joseph, recognised in ‘Picturing Parkinson’s’, a national competition held by Parkinson’s UK.

Neuroscientist joins pool of experts

Posted on 30 November 2015 Prof Divya Chari has been appointed to the Pool of Experts for the BBSRC.

Stem cell therapies for neurological injury - Inaugural Lecture by Prof Divya Chari

Posted on 23 October 2015 Professor Divya Maitreyi Chari, Professor of Neural Tissue Engineering, gave the opening lecture in Keele's programme of Inaugural Professorial Lectures for 2015-16
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International Travel Awards

Posted on 03 September 2015 Dr Alinda Fernandes, research associate in Prof Divya Chari's laboratory, ISTM has been awarded two competitive travel awards to attend the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society meeting in Boston,USA

Double bursary success for medical intercalator

Posted on 28 August 2015 Medical student Alex Delaney, who will commence an intercalated research degree with Professor Divya Chari, ISTM in September 2015, has been awarded two prestigious intercalated bursaries.

Prestigious Society of British Neurological Surgeons medical elective bursary

Posted on 03 July 2015 Daniel Weinberg, a final year medical student having completed his intercalated MPhil at Keele with Professor Divya Chari, was recently awarded a prestigious competitive medical elective bursary from the Society of British Neurological Surgeons (SBNS) for his work at the Brain Tumour Stem Cell laboratory at Johns Hopkins Hospital, USA.

Hearing under the microscope - Inaugural Lecture

Posted on 12 June 2015 David Furness, Professor of Cellular Neuroscience, gave the last in the University's Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series 2014/15.

Royal Society of Chemistry Biomaterials Group: Executive Committee

Posted on 14 May 2015 Dr Paul Roach has recently been elected to the Executive Committee for the Royal Society of Chemistry Biomaterials Group.

Physiological Society Travel Grant Award

Posted on 14 May 2015 Dr Michael Evans was recently awarded a travel grant from the Physiological Society to present his research at the 2015 meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology in Baltimore, USA.

Leverhulme Award

Posted on 08 May 2015 Professor Peter Andras, School of Computing and Mathematics, with a co-investigator from Newcastle University, has been awarded a Leverhulme award of £178,374 (£95,008 to Keele) for a two year project entitled "Designing and Validating Novel Voltage-Sensitive Dyes for Neuroscience Research".

Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship Awarded

Posted on 08 May 2015 Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship awarded to Prof Dave Furness and Ms Desire Gogo-Fyneface to study fibrocyte cultures in a transplantable matrix.
Divya Chari & Sam Hider  

Medical School awarded 2nd Academy of Medical Sciences INSPIRE grant

Posted on 27 March 2015 The Keele School of Medicine has secured a second INSPIRE award (£10K) to continue its successful programme of research activities within the undergraduate medical curriculum

Professor Carole Hackney

Posted on 20 February 2015 Colleagues at Keele have been mourning the death of Prof Carole Hackney, Professor of Auditory Neuroscience, on 17 February.

International grant advisory committee appointment

Posted on 13 February 2015 Divya Chari, newly appointed Professor of Neural Tissue Engineering at the Research Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, has been invited to be a member of the International Spinal Research Trust's Grant Advisory Committee.

BBSRC funding: How the sensory cells of the inner ear enable us to perceive sound

Posted on 30 January 2015 A three year BBSRC project grant has recently been awarded to Professor Dave Furness to study 'Localization of the mechanotransducer channel and its accessory proteins during development of cochlear hair cells'.

Four new grants show local charity support for ISTM's research

Posted on 16 January 2015 Members of the Research Institute for Science & Technology in Medicine led all four successful awards made by the Guy Hilton Research Funding Competition, supported by the Guy Hilton Asthma Trust and University Hospital of North Midlands (UHNM) Charitable Funds.

Keele researchers receive funding from The Henry Smith Charity

Posted on 09 January 2015 Dr Monte Gates and Dr Heidi Fuller (ISTM) have been awarded a second research grant from the Henry Smith Charity to continue their work identifying growth-promoting molecules in the developing spinal cord.

Nerve superhighway picture wins national competition

Posted on 28 November 2014 A photograph by Dr Rowan Orme, Research Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine, 'Nerve Superhighway', has been selected as the winner of a national competition.

Book Launch: ‘Geriatric Medicine An evidence-based approach’

Posted on 28 November 2014 Following a conference in honour of Peter Crome, Emeritus Professor of Geriatric Medicine at Keele, a new book 'Geriatric Medicine An evidence-based approach', which was dedicated to him, has been published by Oxford University Press.
caruana douglas  

Young Investigator Award to Dr Doug Caruana

Posted on 13 October 2014 Dr Douglas Caruana has been awarded a Pauline Ashley Young Investigator Award totalling £30K from the charity Action on Hearing Loss.

Integrative Biology journal cover picture

Posted on 01 October 2014 An image taken from a recent publication from Dr Divya Chari's laboratory has featured as the cover of the Royal Society of Chemistry's journal Integrative Biology.

EPSRC Fellowship to develop Complex Hydrogels

Posted on 01 October 2014 Christopher Adams has been awarded an EPSRC E-TERM fellowship to develop sophisticated, implantable constructs to promote spinal cord regenerative mechanisms.

Plant extract offers hope for infant Motor Neurone therapy

Posted on 28 March 2014 Keele scientists contributed to an international study on a chemical found in plants which could reduce the symptoms spinal muscular atrophy
Daniel Weinberg poster prize jan2014_90x90  

First Prize at Edinburgh Neuroscience to Neurology Conference

Posted on 07 February 2014 Daniel Weinberg, an intercalating student from the School of Medicine, won first prize at the Edinburgh Neurological Society sponsored Neuroscience to Neurology national undergraduate conference.

Biological Model featured in leading Alternatives journal

Posted on 01 May 2014 An in vitro model of spinal cord injury has been featured in Alternatives to Laboratory Animals journal

Neuroscience theme members win top prizes at Postgraduate Symposium

Posted on 05 May 2014 Two members of the ISTM Neuroscience theme won prizes at the ISTM 2014 Symposium Poster Competitions

Picture of the Day - Growing the Distance

Posted on 14 April 2014 An image from a joint study by Dr Ying Yang and Dr Divya Chari has been featured as Biomedical Picture of the Day

Dish Model of Neurological Injury Published

Posted on 17 March 2014 A 'dish' model of spinal cord injury has been reported by Keele scientists in 'Biomaterials', currently the leading journal in its field.

Regenerative Medicine meeting at Keele Hall

Posted on 28 February 2014 An international scientific workshop at Keele Hall attracted 58 delegates from the UK, Austria, Ireland and the USA.

Keele Neuroscience image on the cover of ACS journal

Posted on 28 February 2014 An image taken from a recent publication from Dr Divya Chari's laboratory in ISTM has featured on the front cover of the American Chemical Society's journal Chemical Neuroscience.

Wake Up to Stroke

Posted on 24 January 2014 Professor Christine Roffe is leading Keele's participation in a clinical trial aimed at improving treatment for patients who wake up with stroke symptoms.