Dr Louise Hickey completed a BSc degree in biological sciences (Hons in physiology) at the University of Edinburgh. She then completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Bristol, in collaboration with global pharmaceuticals, Eli Lilly. She subsequently undertook several post-doctoral research posts at the University of Bristol, within the Pain Research Group.
Dr Hickey is currently an Associate Professor in Biomedical Sciences within the School of Medicine, University of Nottingham. Dr Hickey's research interests centre around pain pathways, exploring how pain is regulated and perceived in both health and disease.
Dr Hickey has a Post Graduate Certificate in Higher Education and is a Fellow of AdvanceHE (formerly Higher Education Academy). She is Course Lead for the Graduate Entry Medicine programme at Nottingham and has strong interests in medical education research. Dr Hickey has wide ranging research interests in this area, including assessments, wellbeing, student support and development of inclusive curriculums.
My research methods include: In vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, behaviour, immunohistochemistry and imaging.
Within medical education research: assessment, student engagement, active and self-directed learning, learning environments, technology-enhanced learning, performance enhancement, equality, diversity and inclusion and development of inclusive curriculums.
I have undertaken several teaching related roles at the University of Nottingham.
- Course Lead for Graduate Entry Medicine, course code A101 (2020 - present)
- Quality Assurance lead for Graduate Entry Medicine, course code A101 (2020 - present)
- Problem Based Learning lead for Graduate Entry Medicine, course code A101 (2021-22)
- Course lead for Medicine with a Foundation year, course code A108 (2019 - 2020)
- Senior tutor, across three programmes A101, A108, B121 (2019 - 2020)
- Assessment Lead for Graduate Entry Medicine, course code A101 (2015 - 2020)
- Year 2 (MGEM2012): Neuroscience (20 credit module) for Medical Physiology and therapeutics (B121) 2015 - present
- Year 2 (MGEM2007): Neuroscience (20 credit module) for Graduate Entry Medicine (A101) 2015 - present
For neuroscience across 2 programmes (Graduate Entry Medicine and Medical Physiology and Therapeutics)
Year 1: Movement (MGEM1002): Teaching includes the nervous system, peripheral sensation and spinal reflexes and the motor system in health and disease.
Year 2: (MGEM2012, MGEM2007, MGEM2001, MGEM2004): Teaching includes, overview of nervous system, action potential and resting membrane, spinal tracts, cerebral cortex, autonomic nervous system, special senses (taste, smell, hearing, balance, vision), neuroanatomy, cranial nerves, somatosensory system, motor control, mental health conditions, neurodegeneration, sleep, pain and analgesia, brain rhythms and epilepsy.
Year 1 & 2: (MGEM 2001, MGEM2004, MGEM2003, MGEM 2005, MGEM2009, MGEM2010, MGEM2007, MGEM2011): Problem Based Learning facilitation
Year 3: (MGEM3003) Project supervision for Final Year Research Projects (includes lab-based research, systematic reviews, literature reviews and medical education research)
I am also an academic misconduct officer and personal tutor.
University of Nottingham committee membership:
- Education Excellence Group
- Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences Education and Student Experience Board
- Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Task and Finish group
- Undergraduate Medicine Admissions Committee
- Medical Course Curriculum Committee
- Undergraduate Medicine Assessments Group
My research aims to explore how pain is regulated and perceived in both health and disease. By identifying the neural pathways involved in normal pain processing, we can then begin to understand how… read more
LI, YONG, HICKEY, LOUISE, PERRINS, RAY, WERLEN, EMILIE, PATEL, AMISHA A., HIRSCHBERG, STEFAN, JONES, MATT W., SALINAS, SARA, KREMER, ERIC J. and PICKERING, ANTHONY E., 2016. Retrograde optogenetic characterization of the pontospinal module of the locus coeruleus with a canine adenoviral vector BRAIN RESEARCH. 1641, 274-290 HUGHES, SAM, HICKEY, LOUISE, DONALDSON, LUCY F., LUMB, BRIDGET M. and PICKERING, ANTHONY E., 2015. Intrathecal reboxetine suppresses evoked and ongoing neuropathic pain behaviours by restoring spinal noradrenergic inhibitory tone PAIN. 156(2), 328-334
HICKEY, LOUISE, LI, YONG, FYSON, SARAH J., WATSON, THOMAS C., PERRINS, RAY, HEWINSON, JAMES, TESCHEMACHER, ANJA G., FURUE, HIDEMASA, LUMB, BRIDGET M. and PICKERING, ANTHONY E., 2014. Optoactivation of Locus Ceruleus Neurons Evokes Bidirectional Changes in Thermal Nociception in Rats JOURNAL OF NEUROSCIENCE. 34(12), 4148-4160
My research aims to explore how pain is regulated and perceived in both health and disease. By identifying the neural pathways involved in normal pain processing, we can then begin to understand how this may go wrong in patients with chronic pain.
I have used electrophysiology and optogenetics to explore and manipulate neurons in pain centres within the brain, specifically the Periaqueductal Grey (PAG) and Locus Coeruleus (LC).
Along with sensory-discriminative components of pain such as intensity and duration, there is also an affective-motivational element, which encompasses emotions such as anxiety, despair, and depression. My current research explores the neuronal circuitry involved in the affective -motivational component of pain.
My research within medical education is varied, but includes impact of student support on assessment outcomes, student engagement and assessment outcomes, development of standard setting processes, using technology-enhanced learning (e.g. draw-it-to-learn-it activities and virtual escape rooms) to enhance performance and development of inclusive curriculums.