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Prof Michael Gilbey
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology (NPP)
University College London, Gower St
Prof Michael Gilbey profile picture
  • Emeritus Professor of Intergrative Neuroscience
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

Michael Gilbey graduated with a BSc in Physiology (1976). He was awarded a PhD from the University of Birmingham (1980). During his postdoctoral studies at Birmingham and Johns Hopkins University he examined the integrative functions of sympathetic preganglionic motoneurones (SPNs) and published the first papers documenting their characteristics and supraspinal control in a rat model. In 1984, following a move to the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, he obtained an MRC grant to study the respiratory-related activity of SPNs. He was a visiting research associate in Prof JL Feldman’s lab at UCLA (1990-91, NIH-funded) where a brainstem spinal cord preparation (neonatal rat in vitro) was being used to study respiratory control. Subsequently, Dr Deuchars developed a preparation in his laboratory to study the bulbospinal control of SPNs using a whole cell patch clamp technique. In 1993, with the assistance of Chris Johnson he developed a focal recording technique to examine the activity of sympathetic neurones innervating identified blood vessels. This technique provides a “new window” to increase our understanding of the nervous control of blood vessels and has therefore underpinned seminal contributions. These studies were funded by grants received from the MRC, BHF and Wellcome Trust. In 1999 he was appointed Reader in Physiology at UCL and in 2005 promoted to Professor of Integrative Neuroscience. in 2014 he was awarded the honorary title of Emeritus Professor. He was a senior editor of The Journal of Physiology and the Basic Section Editor of Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical.  

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Research Summary

For an animal to thrive, it must generate appropriate somatic, neuroendocrine and autonomic responses to environmental and internal challenges. These responses are orchestrated by the nervous system and may involve dynamic interactions of rhythmically discharging neuronal networks. 

Our studies support the hypothesis that neural networks in the spinal cord may be relevant to sympathetic pattern generation and the synchronization of sympathetic discharges. The pattern and synchronization of nervous discharges are probably significant parameters in the nervous control of cardiac and vascular functions.

Teaching Summary

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