Anthony PickeringDepartment of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Bristol, Bristol, UK F1000 Faculty Member (since 11 February 2010)
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science, School of Physiology and Pharmacology
As an anaesthetist and pain clinician I am naturally interested in integrative sensory and autonomic neuroscience. The nervous system has evolved sophisticated means to monitor and respond to changes in both the internal and external environment (intero- and exteroception), such homeostatic processes are critical for health and survival of the organism. My lab is interested in the central control mechanisms regulating the discriminative and output responses to interoceptive and exteroceptive stimuli.
We focus on how the sensory and autonomic systems exhibit plastic changes in pathological conditions such as in chronic pain states (control of central sensitisation) and hypertension (altered autonomic rhythmogenesis). For these conditions to persist there is a failure or limitation in the normal central neural compensatory mechanisms, many of which share overlapping circuitry within the brainstem. The goal of our work is to provide a better understanding of these neural dysfunctions.
Current pain related projects include:
Investigation of the role of noradrenergic neurones in the descending control of nociceptive processing. Project uses optogenetic and viral vector approaches in combination with electrophysiology to selectively activate or inhibit this cell group.
Anatomical and functional characterisation of linkage between Periaqueductal gray and noradrenergic neurones of the pons (collaboration with Bridget Lumb).
Central neural mechanisms of bladder control and sensitisation using in situ approach.
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