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Prof Robert Harvey
520
UCL School of Pharmacy
29-39 Brunswick Square
London
WC1N 1AX
Appointment
  • Professor
  • Pharmacology
  • UCL School of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Life Sciences
Biography

I obtained my PhD in Natural Sciences (Biochemistry) from the University of Cambridge in 1991. Following postdoctoral studies at the Institute for Cell biology and Clinical Neurobiology, Hamburg (1991-1996) and the Max-Planck-Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt (1996-1998), I moved to the School of Pharmacy as a Lecturer in 1998. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer, Reader and am currently a Professor of Molecular Neuroscience and Genetics in the Department of Pharmacology. Areas of expertise include: epilepsy, hyperekplexia/startle disease, Parkinson’s disease, glycine receptors, glycine transporters, GABAA receptors, molecular biology, mouse knockouts, zebrafish mutants, DNA sequencing, proteomics, yeast two-hybrid, fluorescent proteins and immunocytochemistry.

Research Themes
Research Summary

My career has centred on investigating the molecular neurobiology of inhibitory neurotransmission mediated by glycine and γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA). My studies have fundamentally altered our understanding of postsynaptic inhibitory glycine receptors (GlyRs) and the cognate presynaptic glycine transporter, GlyT2, revealing key roles in health and disease. Dysfunctional inhibitory transmission caused dysfunction of GABAA or GlyRs, or defects in receptor-associated clustering molecules results in childhood disorders including autism, anxiety, epilepsy, startle disease and intellectual disability. This underlines the importance of understanding the role of inhibitory transmission in health and disease, since these receptors and transporters represent current and future therapeutic targets. My research also has a strong translational aspect - we aim to convert basic science discoveries into clinical applications, such as improved genetic diagnostics, patient care and pharmacological treatments.

Teaching Summary

Current Teaching on the Master of Pharmacy Program

Course design, team leader and teacher: Drugs of Abuse Pharmacology Option (4th year).

Supervisor: 4th year home and Erasmus project students (6 per annum).

Teacher: Cardiovascular and neurological disorder lectures and workshops (2nd year).

Teacher: Biochemical genetics lectures and Pharmacology tutorials (1st year).

Academic Background
1992 DPhil Doctor of Philosophy University of Cambridge
1987 BSc Bachelor of Science University of York
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