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Dr Andrew Doherty

Dr Andrew Doherty

Dr Andrew Doherty
B.Sc.(Sheff.), Ph.D.(Kent)

Senior Lecturer

Office D11
Biomedical Sciences Building,
University Walk, Bristol BS8 1TD
(See a map)

+44 (0) 117 331 2245


I am currently a Senior Lecturer 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.


I am currently a teaching fellow and researcher in neuroscience. I am Unit Organiser for Functional Neuroanatomy a Level 1 unit on the Neuroscience B.Sc. programme. I have a particular interest in the application of eBiolabs to neuroscience teaching and am responsible for the production of eLearning material to support them Level neuroscience teaching. I perform the full range of teaching within the University, on topics including molecular neuroscience, neuroanatomy, techniques in neuroscience researach and run 3rd year projects that focus on both research and teaching. I am an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and am currently working towards Fellowship status.

As a biochemist by training, past research has focussed on the role of mGlu recpetors in  synaptic plasticity. I am currently part of a group looking at the role of the JAK-STAT3 pathway in the induction and expression of long-term depression in the hippocampus. This involves the using immunological techniques combined with proteomics to identify potential downstream targets of these proteins.

I have been the Scientific Officer for the Centre for Synaptic Plasticity since 1999. This position has multiple roles within it including responsibility for the management and maintenance of large, multi-user equipment - such as confocal microscopes and multi-photon microscopes, as well as the training on those systems and support for grant applications.

In addition, I am the Deputy Biological Safety Officer for the School of Physiology and Pharmacology, with responsibility for ensuring that work using dangerous pathogens and genetically modified organisms is properly licensed and carried out within the relevant regulations, School Radiation Protection Supervisor and School Safety Advisor

Activities / Findings

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


B.Sc. in Neuroscience

  1. Unit Director for Functional Neuroanatomy, Yr 1
  2. Introduction to Neuroscience, Yr 1
  3. Unit Director for Pharmacology of the Nervous System Yr 2
  4. Techniques in Neuroscience, Yr 2
  5. Neuropharmacology Yr2 (Dental)
  6. Neuroscience Yr 3 Lead
  7. eBiolabs development


MB21 Medical Curriculum

  1. Case Based Learning facilitator, Yrs 1 & 2




  • Glutamate
  • synaptic plastcity


  • neurodegenerative disease

Processes and functions

  • synaptic plasticity


  • imaging technology
  • molecular biology
  • immunotechnology



School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience

Other sites

Selected publications

Read more >

View complete publications list in the University of Bristol publications system

Networks & contacts

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

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