Clinical Toxicology

Clinical Toxicology research group

Our aim

The aim of our research group is to determine the molecular mechanisms that contribute to cellular signalling, cell damage and cell death. 

Our focus is clinically related toxicology, biochemistry, and physiology.


Research issue

Our bodies are exposed to an ever-increasing number of toxins including licit or illicit drugs, and environmental agents such as pesticides. The impact of these toxins on our health and well-being needs to be investigated and monitored. Furthermore, the development of suitable treatments able to respond to agent toxicity are required.

What we are doing about it

  1. We are addressing the problem of excessive alcohol intake by considering the cellular and tissue changes and damage in alcoholic patients, and how they might be rectified.
  2. We are tackling the problem of immoderate pesticide exposures by considering novel means of biomonitoring.
  3. We are examining the link between neurodegenerative disease and environmental toxins.

Current projects

Current research projects include:

  • The pathology and neurobiology of alcohol abuse
  • An examination of mechanisms and targets of agents that trigger hepato- and/or neuro- toxicity, including commonly encountered drugs and xenobiotics
  • An assessment of certain protein post-translational modifications and protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease


Through our research we have shown that:

  • Alcohol damages the human brain by promoting loss of the cytoskeletal proteins alpha-tubulin and beta-tubulin
  • Serum albumin binds a number of pesticides, and the extent of binding provides an insight into pesticide exposure levels
  • A number of plant extracts retain active agents capable of ameliorating liver damage and may provide novel agents suitable for development as anti-Alzheimer’s drugs
  • A number of drugs, including antidepressants, are toxic to cells at high doses via induction of damage to mitochondria


Our research has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals. See our individual staff profiles to find out more.  


We also deliver clinical toxicology teaching to the Medical Physiology and Therapeutics and Medicine BSc students.







Clinical Toxicology research group

The University of Nottingham
Royal Derby Hospital
Uttoxeter Road, Derby, DE22 3DT

telephone: +44 (0) 1332 724622