Biography

For my PhD (Bristol University, 1983) I used ion-sensitive microelectrodes to investigate pH regulation in snail neurones, supervised by Dr RC Thomas. I was awarded a Royal Society Exchange Fellowship to work in Paris (ENS), mainly with Dr Alain Marty on the muscarinic response in rat lacrimal glands, but also did some single channel work and a characterisation of a novel calcium-activated chloride current.

I then switched direction towards hearing and the cochlea, doing a postdoc in Denver (UCHSC) with Dr Paul Fuchs following a short period in Bristol. We investigated the electrical resonance mechanism in chick cochlear hair cells.

With Andrew Crawford and Robert Fettiplace in Cambridge, we investigated the hair cell transduction mechanism in turtles. In 1990 I became a temporary lecturer in Physiology, Bristol, and two years later was awarded a Wellcome Trust postdoctoral fellowship to investigate the mechanism of efferent inhibition in cochlear outer hair cells.

This has been my principal research area ever since, although more recently this path has expanded to include neonatal inner hair cells. I was appointed as a lecturer on the Neuroscience course at Keele in its first year, 1996, and became Programme Director (2002-2013 and 2017 - 2020). I was a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Physiology (2004 – 2011) and a trustee and member of Council of the Physiological Society (2011-2015), including Chair of the Membership and Grants Committee. I was also Keele’s Physiological Society representative from 2017-2020. I retired at the end of 2020, and have honorary status until end of 2023. 

Research and scholarship

My research area relates mainly to hearing and the cellular mechanisms involved. I am interested in the outer hair cells of the cochlea, and how they amplify the movements within the cochlea induced by sound. This mechanism provides us with our sensitive hearing - without it we'd have to shout!

The outer hair cells are controlled from centres in the brain stem, my main research concerns how this cholinergic efferent pathway works, and how it influences the physiology of the outer hair cells. During development this pathway transiently innervates the inner hair cells and appears to modulate their intrinsic electrical properties, producing different patterns of spiking activity along the cochlea. Together with Helen Kennedy (Bristol), we are investigating how the efferent neurotransmitter acetylcholine alters the cells electrical responses and whether there are differences between inner and outer hair cells that might provide clues about the underlying receptor mechanisms.

More recently I have been collaborating with David Furness and Anya Osborn (PhD student), and ex-colleague Doug Caruana (Aston) to assess ion channels in cochlear fibrocytes, from neonatal cells grown in culture on hydrogels and in excised portions of the spiral ligament. We want to know whether cultured fibrocytes show similar physiological responses to those within the spiral ligament, as a precursor to assessing whether an injection of cultured cells into the cochlea might represent a viable therapy against age-related hearing loss.

I have also collaborated with Divya Chari’s group here at Keele, looking at how different cell culture techniques affect neuronal physiology and whether electrical stimulation can improve neurite outgrowth in cells grown on collagen hydrogels. 

Selected Publications

  • Evans MG, Al-Shakli A, Chari DM. 2019. Electrophysiological properties of neurons grown on soft polymer scaffolds reveal the potential to develop neuromimetic culture environments. Integr Biol (Camb), 395-403, vol. 11(11). link> doi> full text>
  • Kamudzandu M, Köse-Dunn M, Evans MG, Fricker R, Roach P. 2019. A Micro-fabricated in vitro Platform to Model Complex Neuronal Functionality of a Central Nervous System Circuit. Biomedical Physics and Engineering Express. doi> link> full text>
  • Evans MG, Al-Shakli A, Jenkins SI, Chari DM. 2017. Electrophysiological assessment of primary cortical neurons genetically engineered using iron oxide nanoparticles. NANO RESEARCH, 2881-2890, vol. 10(8). link> doi> full text>
  • Darbon P, Wright DJ, Evans MG. 2011. Conductance properties of the acetylcholine receptor current of guinea pig outer hair cells. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol, 59-70, vol. 12(1). doi>
  • Furness DN, Hackney CM, Evans MG. 2010. Localisation of the mechanotransducer channels in mammalian cochlear hair cells provides clues to their gating. J Physiol, 765-772, vol. 588(Pt 5). doi> link>

Full Publications Listshow

Journal Articles

  • Evans MG, Al-Shakli A, Chari DM. 2019. Electrophysiological properties of neurons grown on soft polymer scaffolds reveal the potential to develop neuromimetic culture environments. Integr Biol (Camb), 395-403, vol. 11(11). link> doi> full text>
  • Kamudzandu M, Köse-Dunn M, Evans MG, Fricker R, Roach P. 2019. A Micro-fabricated in vitro Platform to Model Complex Neuronal Functionality of a Central Nervous System Circuit. Biomedical Physics and Engineering Express. doi> link> full text>
  • Evans MG, Al-Shakli A, Jenkins SI, Chari DM. 2017. Electrophysiological assessment of primary cortical neurons genetically engineered using iron oxide nanoparticles. NANO RESEARCH, 2881-2890, vol. 10(8). link> doi> full text>
  • Darbon P, Wright DJ, Evans MG. 2011. Conductance properties of the acetylcholine receptor current of guinea pig outer hair cells. J Assoc Res Otolaryngol, 59-70, vol. 12(1). doi>
  • Furness DN, Hackney CM, Evans MG. 2010. Localisation of the mechanotransducer channels in mammalian cochlear hair cells provides clues to their gating. J Physiol, 765-772, vol. 588(Pt 5). doi> link>
  • Beurg M, Evans MG, Hackney CM, Fettiplace R. 2006. A large-conductance calcium-selective mechanotransducer channel in mammalian cochlear hair cells. JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, 10992-11000, vol. 26(43). link> doi>
  • Kennedy HJ, Evans MG, Crawford AC, Fettiplace R. 2006. Depolarization of cochlear outer hair cells evokes active hair bundle motion by two mechanisms. JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE, 2757-2766, vol. 26(10). link> doi>
  • Kennedy HJ, Evans MG, Crawford AC, Fettiplace R. 2003. Fast adaptation of mechanoelectrical transducer channels in mammalian cochlear hair cells. Nature Neuroscience, 832-836, vol. 6(8). doi>
  • Evans MG, Lagostena L, Darbon P, Mammano F. 2000. Cholinergic control of membrane conductance and intracellular free Ca2+ in outer hair cells of the guinea pig cochlea. Cell Calcium, 195-203, vol. 28(3). link> doi>
  • Chan E and Evans MG. 1998. Kinetics of activation of a Ca2+-dependent K+ current induced by flash photolysis of caged carbachol in isolated guinea-pig outer hair cells. NEUROSCI LETT, 45-48, vol. 254(1). link> doi> link>
  • Evans MG, Kiln J, Pinch D. 1996. No evidence for functional GABA receptors in outer hair cells isolated from the apical half of the guinea-pig cochlea. Hear Res, 1-6, vol. 101(1-2). link> doi> link>
  • Evans MG. 1996. Acetylcholine activates two currents in guinea pig outer hair cells. J PHYSIOL-LONDON, 563-578, vol. 491(2). link>
  • Crawford AC, Evans MG, Fettiplace R. 1991. The actions of calcium on the mechano-electrical transducer current of turtle hair cells. J Physiol, 369-398, vol. 434. link> doi>
  • Fuchs PA, Evans MG, Murrow BW. 1990. Calcium currents in hair cells isolated from the cochlea of the chick. J Physiol, 553-568, vol. 429. link> doi>
  • Fuchs PA and Evans MG. 1990. Potassium currents in hair cells isolated from the cochlea of the chick. J Physiol, 529-551, vol. 429. link> doi>
  • Crawford AC, Evans MG, Fettiplace R. 1989. Activation and adaptation of transducer currents in turtle hair cells. J Physiol, 405-434, vol. 419. link> doi>
  • Fuchs PA and Evans MG. 1988. Voltage oscillations and ionic conductances in hair cells isolated from the alligator cochlea. J Comp Physiol A, 151-163, vol. 164(2). link> doi>
  • Fuchs PA, Nagai T, Evans MG. 1988. Electrical tuning in hair cells isolated from the chick cochlea. J Neurosci, 2460-2467, vol. 8(7). link> doi>
  • Evans MG and Fuchs PA. 1987. Tetrodotoxin-sensitive, voltage-dependent sodium currents in hair cells from the alligator cochlea. Biophys J, 649-652, vol. 52(4). link> doi>

Other

  • Evans MG and Fettiplace R. 2009. MEASUREMENT OF OUTER HAIR CELL ELECTROMOTILITY USING A FAST VOLTAGE CLAMP. CONCEPTS AND CHALLENGES IN THE BIOPHYSICS OF HEARING (pp. 400-+). link> doi>
  • Evans MG and Kros CJ. 2006. The cochlea - new insights into the conversion of sound into electrical signals. doi>
  • Kros CJ and Evans MG. 2006. Tuning in to cochlear hair cells. link> doi>
  • Evans MG. 2005. Here today, hear tomorrow: a transient inhibitory synapse regulates spiking activity in developing inner hair cells through facilitation. England. link> doi>
  • Evans MG. 2004. contribution to article 'The Journal of Physiology- New Editors'.
  • Evans MG. 2003. Current-voltage characteristics of the acetylcholine receptor in outer hair cells. International Journal of Audiology (p. 359, vol. 42).
  • Wright DJ, Furness DN, Evans MG. 2002. Confocal imaging of alpha-bungarotoxin-tagged acetylcholine receptors in outer hair cells. International Journal of Audiology.
  • Evans MG and Kros CJ. 2001. Hey presto! Electrophysiological characterisation of prestin, a motor protein from outer hair cells, transfected into kidney cells. doi>
  • Chan E, Darbon P, Evans MG. 2001. Effect of BHQ on the potassium current induced by acetylcholine in outer hair cells. Abstracts of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Midwinter Research Meeting Association for Research in Otolaryngology.
  • Wright DJ, Furness DN, Evans MG. 2001. The influence of external calcium concentration on the acetylcholine receptor current in mammalian outer hair cells. British Journal of Audiology.
  • Darbon P and Evans MG. 2000. Effects of caffeine and ryanodine on the ACh-evoked potassium current in isolated guinea-pig outer hair cells. BRITISH JOURNAL OF AUDIOLOGY (pp. 80-81, vol. 34). link>
  • Wright DJ, Evans MG, Furness DN. 2000. Physiological and anatomical investigation of acetylcholine receptor localization in mammalian cochlear outer hair cells. BRITISH JOURNAL OF AUDIOLOGY (pp. 81-82, vol. 34). link>
  • Evans MG, Lagostena L, Mammano F. 2000. Responses of outer hair cells to carbachol: a combined patch-clamp and calcium imaging investigation. JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON (p. 184P, vol. 523). link>
  • Evans MG and Furness DN. 2000. Putting on the brakes: How can the brain influence the ear's output?.
  • Darbon P and Evans MG. 2000. Variation in the response to acetylcholine in isolated outer hair cells. EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE (p. 494, vol. 12). link>
  • Evans MG. 1997. Acetylcholine-activated currents in outer hair cells recorded under conditions designed to reduce potassium currents. JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON (pp. P126-P127, vol. 504P). link>