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Dr Brian Pearce
  • Head of Department of Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology
  • UCL School of Pharmacy
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

On graduating from Hatfield Polytechnic in 1976 with a BSc in Applied Biology, Dr Brian Pearce spent two years as a Medical Laboratory Scientific Officer in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St Thomas’ Hospital. In 1978 he was awarded an SRC PhD studentship in the Brain Research Group at the Open University where he undertook a project investigating neurotransmitter release from cultured cerebellar neurones under the supervision of Dr Gary Dutton.

In 1980, Dr Pearce and his supervisor moved to the Department of Pharmacology, at the University of Iowa where he stayed until 1982. The next seven years were spent working as a post-doctoral research fellow, first with Dr David Bowen at the Institute of Neurology where he was involved in assessing the involvement of glutamate receptors in the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease, and later with Dr Sean Murphy where he became interested in the roles played by glial cells in the CNS.

Dr Pearce was appointed to a lectureship at The School of Pharmacy in 1989, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1996 and became Head of the Department of Pharmacology in 2007. He also served as interim Director of the School in 2012 following its merger with UCL.

Research Summary

Dr Brian Pearce’s research interests span many aspects of neurobiology. More recently, he has been involved in a collaborative project with Professor Robert Harvey investigating how genetic mutations in the glycine transporter (GlyT2) are involved in the pathology of startle disease in newborn humans and livestock.

Teaching Summary

Dr Pearce's main contribution to teaching is in the first year of the MPharm programme where he delivers classes on pharmaceutical calculations, lectures on the pharmacology of the autonomic nervous system, the cardiovascular system, drug metabolism and supervises practical classes in pharmacology. He also serves as a tutor for case study sessions on cardiovascular disorders in the second year and endocrinology in the third year.

Academic Background
1983 PhD Doctor of Philosophy – Neurobiology Open University
1976 BSc Bachelor of Science – Applied Biology Hatfield Polytechnic
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