I grew up in south Somerset in the Southwest of England and attended the local comprehensive school. I studied for a a BSc (Hons) at the University of Cardiff (1992-1995) and then went onto attain a PhD at The University of Cambridge both in Pharmacology. Following my PhD I undertook a period of post-doctoral study at UCL with Professor Maria Fitzgerald (FRS) in the Wellcome London Pain Consortium as a Research Fellow and then Senior Research Fellow. I moved to Nottingham in 2009 as a Lecturer and became Associate Professor in 2016. I have served as a panel member for funding bodies within the UK and am the Editor of The Oxford Textbook of Pediatric Pain (2nd Edition).
My research expertise is in the science of pain and nociception. Specifically I study the changing way in which the brain and spinal cord detect and processes pain from birth until later life. My group explores how networks of neurons interact and change using multi-electrode arrays, remote imaging modalities and post-mortem assays we also study the way in which changes in the immune system and the transcriptome impact upon this.
Teaching is something that I really enjoy and is an important part of my life as an academic. I am proud to lead a team of academics which deliver our BSc and MSci neuroscience degrees and am the… read more
My research group is sited within newly refurbished and equipped laboratories within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham. The broad focus of my research is to understand the… read more
HATHWAY, G.J., VEGA-AVELAIRA, D., MOSS, A., INGRAM, R. and FITZGERALD, M., 2009. Brief, low frequency stimulation of rat peripheral C-fibres evokes prolonged microglial-induced central sensitization in adults but not in neonates Pain. 144(1-2), 110-118
Teaching is something that I really enjoy and is an important part of my life as an academic. I am proud to lead a team of academics which deliver our BSc and MSci neuroscience degrees and am the Director (from 2019-present) of both of these degree programmes. Our Neuroscience degree is one of the best in the UK with superb NSS scores in recent years and our curriculum spans topics which range from the molecular basis of neurological disease to clinical presentation and treatment. Our degrees and university offer a fantastic place for undergraduates to explore the nervous system
I teach on the Neuroscience BSc (Hons) and MSci (Hons) degree courses .Along with my colleagues in the Neuroscience Teaching Group we have recently completely re-designed the neuroscience curriculum over the last 4 years. I have led on the redesign of the second and final years of the degree where we have introduced a range of new modules which promote small group teaching wherever possible, equipping our students with key skills which are transferable to the world of work as well as academic knowledge about neuroscience.
I currently convene Higher Skills in Neuroscience (Year 2), as well as Advanced Skills in Neuroscience (Final Year) . I also offer research projects to final year students and act as a personal tutor to students across all years.
I was awarded the Lord Dearing Award for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching in 2015.
My research group is sited within newly refurbished and equipped laboratories within the School of Life Sciences at the University of Nottingham. The broad focus of my research is to understand the underlying neurobiological processes that occur when an individual experiences pain.
My group uses a range of approaches to investigate the changes that occur in the brain, spinal cord and the immune system ranging from in vivo to cell based assays. We have recently pioneered the development of a new way of investigating the processes that take place in spinal cord neural networks which is shedding new light on the way in which we detect and process painful stimuli across the life-course. We have world-leading expertise in multi-electrode array electrophysiology, animal behaviour, neuropharmacology and utilise neuroanatomical and transcriptomic approaches to supplement these approaches. In addition we also collaborate closely with colleagues using imaging technologies to assess human and small animal neurophysiological approaches.
Current projects include
The role of the PAG in the maturation of spinal pain processing in early life
Endogenous pain control systems in health and disease
The impact of pain on cognitive flexibility
The changing relationship between neural and immune systems in early life
Dorsal horn pain processing in later life
The roles of miRNA in sensory neuron function
We are always seeking new colleagues to collaborate with from early career researchers seeking to learn new skills to established groups wishing to share expertise
I collaborate with groups in the UK and abroad, including University of Oxford, University of Cambridge and University of Glasgow . I am a member of the Versus Arthritis National Pain Centre.
I am currently developing projects looking at:
The role of dorsal horn inhibitory networks in health and disease
The role of endogenous pain control systems in the function of spinal and supraspinal systems in health and disease
The changing role of glia across the life-course
The impact of opioid analgesics on pain network fucntion