I studied Medicine at the University of Birmingham (1991-97) and continued my general medical training in Oxford. I then spent three years working on the genetic linkage and association of neurological disorders under the supervision of Professor George Ebers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics. After obtaining my DPhil in 2003, I completed my training in Clinical Neurology at Oxford. I joined the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics in 2007 after being awarded an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellowship to establish my own research group.
I am now the Academic Director and Principial Scientist for IMI StemBANCC. I am also active clinically and work as a Consultant Neurologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital with an interest in Neurogenetic and Headache Disorders. I am Director of the Oxford Headache Centre.
Director of the Oxford Headache Centre and Director of StemBANCC
- Associate Professor
- Clinical Director, Thames Valley Strategic Clinical Network
- Consultant Neurologist
The Translational Molecular Neuroscience Group looks at neurogenetic disorders, often rare variants of common disease. Understanding the disease pathways in these conditions will allow development of meaningful therapies. The group is developing new disease models for more effective drug discovery platforms.
The Neurobiology of Migraine
The other major area of research for the group is understanding pathogenic mechanism in migraine. Migraine is a common, costly and debilitating condition with a complex genetic aetiology. The genetics basis of typical migraine is mostly unknown but we have identified the first gene underlying typical migraine. We found in a large family with migraine, a frameshift mutation in the gene KCNK18, which encodes a tandem-pore background potassium channel, TRESK. TRESK is highly expressed in dorsal root, trigeminal and autonomic ganglia and to lesser extents in the brain and spinal cord. In vitro electrophysiology demonstrates the mutation, which produces a prematurely truncated protein, causing complete loss of function when expressed alone and a dominant negative effect when expressed with wildtype channels. We believe that loss of TRESK function increases cell excitability and responsiveness and thereby lowers the threshold for migraine development. We are building on these findings to further our understanding of migraine and develop new drug treatments.
Sources of Funding
- EU FP7
- Wellcome Trust
- NIHR BRC
- Medical Research Council
- John Fell
Reproducibility of Molecular Phenotypes after Long-Term Differentiation to Human iPSC-Derived Neurons: A Multi-Site Omics Study.
Volpato V. et al, (2018), Stem Cell Reports
Engineered method for directional growth of muscle sheets on electrospun fibers.
Soliman E. et al, (2018), J Biomed Mater Res A, 106, 1165 - 1176
Small vessels, dementia and chronic diseases – molecular mechanisms and pathophysiology
Horsburgh K. et al, (2018), Clinical Science, 132, 851 - 868
HDAC6 is a therapeutic target in mutant GARS-induced Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.
Benoy V. et al, (2018), Brain, 141, 673 - 687
Aligned electrospun fibers for neural patterning.
Soliman E. et al, (2018), Biotechnol Lett, 40, 601 - 607