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What we do?

Ever wondered why we only “use“ 10% of our brains?

Reality is we just haven’t realised or appreciated what the other 90% is actually doing.

Fact: roughly 10% of your brains are made up of neurons. These
are critical cells of our brains and spinal cords that convey the fundamental information at astonishing speeds through our central nervous systems.

Fact: the rest are immune like cells of the central nervous system, called glia. These include immune-like cells such as microglia, astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. These cells not only hold the brain together, but also make sure the central nervous system is fed, cleaned and repaired. But they do even more than this!

Ever wondered how you know you are sick? The immune cells of the brain and spinal cord help convey some of this information from 

your peripheral immune system to the brain and help change your behaviour when you have an infection.

BUT, the immune cells of the brain can also change behaviour in bad ways. Immune responses in the brain have now been implicated in almost every central nervous system disease including, depression and anxiety, through to epilepsy, stroke and drug addiction.

So what does the Neuroimmunopharmacology group do?: Our laboratory investigates how glia function in a normal healthy brain so we can understand when they go bad and contribute to diseases such as chronic pain, drug addiction & epilepsy. The goal of the research is to discover new mechanisms of disease so we can make new drugs or treatments that can regain control of these immune cells to prevent diseases. Importantly, this research will lead to disease cures rather than just treatments.