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Dr Andrew Doherty

I am currently a Senior Teaching Fellow with the School of Physiology, Pharmacology and Neuroscience, teaching on the Neuroscience and Pharmacology programmes. I also act as a facilitator in Case-Based Learning on the MB21 Medical programme and teach neuropharmacology on the dental programme.

I am interested in the role of active learning methods in the developement of students' understanding of complex structures and concepts. I use a mixture of interactive physical and 3D digital models to instruct students about neuroanatomy so that they understand the relationships between anatomical structures and how they function together. Using simple stop-motion animation techniques also allows students to understand the dynamic nature of networks in the brain. I am currently conducting studies to provide an evidence base for whether these techniques  actually improve student outcomes and staisfaction.

My previous research work focussed on the role of the JAK-STAT pathway in long term depression, a form of synaptic plasticity that has been linked to learning and memory, and the role of endoplasmic reticulum in modulating dendritic spine dynamics. I have also worked on the pharmacology and trafficking of metabotropic glutamate receptors. Working with Profs Graham Collingridge and David Jane, we were testing phenylglycine derivatives for agonist/antagonists that could distinguish between the group I mGlu receptors. We were also looking at the mechanism of internalisation of mGlu1 receptors.

Research keywords

  • Glutamate
  • synaptic plastcity

Diseases related to this field of research

  • neurodegenerative disease

Processes and functions relevant to this work

  • synaptic plasticity

Equipment relevant to this work

  • Zeiss 510META confocal microscope
  • Nikon Ti2000 widefield/confocal microscope
  • Bio-Rad2100 Multi-photon microscope

Research findings

  • CHPG is a mGlu5 selective agonist
  • mGlu1 receptor internalisation is induced by glutamate

Collaborations

  • members of the MRC Centre for synaptic plasticity
  • other peeps