Research Centre Staff

Staff members and their main areas of expertise


Dr Yoana Arroyo - Post-doctoral research fellow
Effect of drugs on the bone marrow microenvironment and acute myeloid leukaemia cells. Cancer Research UK grant (PI - Dr Yolanda Calle Patino)

Dr Volker Behrends
Bacterial metabolism and infection; links between metabolism, virulence and resistance with emphasis on bacterial interactions; metabolic profiling techniques

Dr Abi Belai
Autonomic neuroscience, plasticity of enteric neurones in development and disease, neuroimmune interactions in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), diabetic autonomic neuropathy

Dr Patrick Brady
Psychophysiology of stress. The effects of stress, change and mediation on indicators of physical and mental health

Dr Robert Busch
Immune pathophysiology; Mechanisms of MHC gene associations with autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis; Kinetic processes in disease

Dr Yolanda Calle
Cell adhesion in inflammation and cancer. Biology of the recruitment of immune and cancer cells to target organs

Dr Giulia Corona
Dietary polyphenols and their importance for healthy ageing and chronic disease prevention, ranging from the clinical setting through to the molecular mechanisms of action, metabolism and bioavailability

Dr Adele Costabile
Gut microbiota and its contribution to host metabolism. The carcinogenic potential of the microbiome, and the impact of early-life events on metabolism and development; the role of microbiota in food and nutritional systems

Dr Erin Damsteegt - Post-doctoral research fellow
Cell communication and the regulation of islet function. Diabetes UK grant (PI – Dr Astrid Hauge-Evans)

Dr Astrid Hauge-Evans
Regulation of hormone secretion and beta cell survival in the pancreatic islet and its importance in the development of type 2 diabetes.

Dr Nick Hurren
Human metabolic physiology. Special interest in the links between lipid/lipoprotein metabolism and chronic disease states (diabetes, NAFLD, CVD, obesity), and the role that exercise and/or nutritional interventions can play in improving metabolic health across the lifespan.

Dr Yvonne Jeanes
Dietary management and eating behaviours in women with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS); vitamin E status in health and disease

Dr Laurent Lacroix
Pharmacological effects of drugs including novel psychoactive substances on the brain and behaviour; cortical and spinal trauma effects on neurochemistry and synaptic plasticity

Dr Michal Letek
Identifying novel therapeutic strategies to control bacterial pathogens with multiple drug resistance

Dr Francisco Molina-Holgado
Neurodegeneration and brain repair, neuroimmune interactions, neurogenesis, brain endocannabinoid system

Prof. Jolanta Opacka-Juffry - Research Centre Director
Neurobiology of brain disorders, depression, effects of early life stress. Brain mechanisms of addiction, novel psychoactive substances

Dr Michael Patterson
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, gastrointestinal and hypothalamic peptides (ghrelin, oxyntomodulin, peptide YY, GLP-1, NPY)

Dr Sue Reeves
Energy balance, effects of diet on body weight, dietary induced thermogenesis, breakfast and BMI

Dr Michelle Sahai
Novel psychoactive substances (legal highs) and their interactions with the dopamine transporter; molecular modelling, high performance computing techniques.


Honorary Professor


Professor Christopher R. Pryce - University of Zurich, Switzerland
Honorary Professor of Behavioural Neurobiology, University of Roehampton

Honorary Members


Professor Colin Davidson
Pharmacology of drugs of addiction – UCLan, Preston, formerly St George’s, University of London

Dr Simon Dyall
Neuroprotective roles of omega-3 fatty acids in development, ageing and after trauma, Bournemouth University