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Dr Saad Hannan
Medical Sciences Building
UCL Gower Street
Tel: 02076797660
  • Research Associate
  • Neuro, Physiology & Pharmacology
  • Div of Biosciences
  • Faculty of Life Sciences

I graduated in Biology from UCL in 2007 and joined Professor Trevor G. Smart's lab as a Dorothy Hodgkin Postgraduate Scholar to undertake a PhD where I developed live cell imaging strategies to monitor the real-time trafficking of neurotransmitter receptors. 

After my PhD, I was awarded a Rosetrees Trust Postdoctoral Grant to study the dysfunction of GABAergic neurotransmission that leads to cognitive impairment using new mouse models of Down syndrome in collaboration with Professor Elizabeth M. C. Fisher (Institute of Neurology, UCL) and Professor Victor Tybulewicz (Francis Crick Institute). 

I am currently an International Rett Syndrome Foundation Fellow and am creating a new conditional mouse model for studying Rett and targeting therapy.

Research Themes
Research Summary

As a neuroscientist, I routinely apply techniques such as electrophysiology, single particle tracking of Quantum Dots, live cell imaging and molecular biology to address questions of biological and clinical significance. My current research has four broad aims:

1. To characterise and pin-point the mechanisms by which mutations in GABA receptors lead to Rett syndrome,
2. To identify the mechanism by which dysfunction in inhibitory neurotransmission leads to cognitive impairment in Down syndrome,
3. To characterise the developmental and maturation defects in iPSC-derived neurons from Down syndrome individuals,
4. To understand how spontaneously active GABA receptors cause epileptic encephalopathy

Teaching Summary

Undergraduate teaching - lectures, tutorials and laboratory demonstrations in:

PHAR1001 (Pharmacology: An Introduction to Mechanisms of Drug Action)
PHAR2002/2005 (General and Systematic Pharmacology)
PHAR0024 (Toxicology)
PHAR3001/3002 (Neuropharmacology)

Research training - Undergraduate and Postgraduate (Masters and PhD) student supervision and laboratory training in electrophysiology, imaging and molecular biology 

Academic Background
2018   ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow University College London
2011   Doctor of Philosophy University College London
2007   Bachelor of Science (Honours) University College London
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