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Professor Nicholas Dale

Job Title
Ted Pridgeon Prof in Neuroscience
Life Sciences
024 7652 3729
Web Link
Research Interests

The overall theme of our group is how neurons communicate with each other to achieve the desired neural function. Our work splits into two major areas: Neurophysiology and Technology development.

Neurophysiological studies

Our interests presently concentrate around the investigation of chemical signalling in the brain. One common theme is purinergic signalling by ATP and adenosine and its roles in several different functional contexts such as: centrally mediated chemosensitive reflexes involved in the control of breathing and arousal; signalling by hypothalamic tanycytes in the context of the control of body weight and food intake; homeostatic control of sleep; endogenous neuroprotective mechanisms in the brain; and during early development. We use a combination of electrophysiological, imaging and biosensing methods to study these problems.

Technology development

We have an active program to provide novel analytical tools for neuroscience research. In particular we are developing microelectrode biosensors specific for a number of transmitters to enable better exploration of chemical signalling in the nervous system. We have concentrated on microelectrode biosensors for the purines and have formed the Warwick Biosensors Group to further this aim. We are also developing biosensors for other analytes (such as glutamate, lactate, D-serine, acetylcholine) and have developed a range of highly selective biosensors for clinical diagnostic purposes. This latter work is linked to a spin out company Sarissa Biomedical Ltd specifically devoted to the commercialization of our biosensors and the development of diagnostic tools.


BA, Zoology, 1981 Cambridge University

PhD, Neuroscience, 1984, Bristol University

CTO & Director Sarissa Biomedical Ltd

Scientific Advisory Board of the British Neuroscience Association

Associate Editor, Purinergic Signalling

Member of the Society for Neuroscience

Member of the British Neuroscience Association

Title Funder Award start Award end
L-Aspartate signalling in the brain MRC 01 May 2022 31 Oct 2025
Modulation of arousal by direct CO2 gating of connexin hemichannels expressed by VTA GABAergic neurons (BBSRC Responsive Mode Application) BBSRC 01 Sep 2021 31 Jan 2025
New tools for investigating connexin26 hemichannel function in physiological systems BBSRC 01 Feb 2021 31 Jan 2025
Do microglia prevent seizure-induced cardiorespiratory dysfunction in freely behaving mice? Full application Epilepsy Research UK 01 Oct 2019 31 Mar 2022
Structural and biophysical basis of Connexin26 channel mediated disease MRC 01 Jan 2017 31 Dec 2021
Connexin 26-mediated breathing control by the healthy and obese brain MRC 28 Sep 2015 21 Apr 2020
Amino acid sensing by hypothalamic tanycytes BBSRC 01 Jun 2015 30 Nov 2018
Connexin 32 evolution to a CO2 sensor - Wellcome Biomedical Vacation Scholarship for Valentin Dospinescu Wellcome Trust 02 Jul 2018 01 Sep 2018
Structural basis of the CO2 sensitivity of Cx26 and role in human physiology Leverhulme Trust 01 Jul 2015 31 Mar 2018
Imaging neural activity in freely behaving rodents at the single cell level MRC 01 Mar 2016 31 Aug 2017
The contribution of tanycyte signalling to the function of hypothalamic networks MRC 01 Feb 2012 31 Jul 2015
Wellcome Trust Vacation Scholarship 2014 - Louise Boeckmans Wellcome Trust 14 Jul 2014 30 Nov 2014
How the brain senses CO2 MRC 01 Apr 2011 31 Mar 2014
Wellcome Trust Summer Student 2013 Daniel Cook Wellcome Trust 01 Jun 2013 30 Sep 2013
Quantitative sensors for phytohormone signalling systems BBSRC 01 Aug 2011 31 Jul 2012
Adenosine release in the preoptic forebrain areas Wellcome Trust 01 Jun 2009 31 May 2012
Regulation of Cortical excitability and seizure activity by purines Epilepsy Research UK 01 Jan 2008 31 Dec 2010
Helping the brain itself: D-ribose to promote recovery after stroke Research into Ageing 01 Oct 2007 30 Sep 2010
All dressed up and nowhere to go - findong the glucosensing party for hypothalmic tanycytes. MRC 01 Jan 2007 31 Dec 2009
Tanycyte-neuron communication in the hypothalamus Wellcome Trust 01 Jul 2009 26 Aug 2009
Synthesis and Nanotechnological Application of Tethered Silicates EU 01 Jan 2006 31 Dec 2008
ATP - A mediator of central chemoreception in brain stem MRC 01 Aug 2005 31 Jul 2008
Novel real-time amperometric detection of extracellular ATP: characterisation of spontaneous ATP release in cerebellum Wellcome Trust 01 Jan 2005 31 Dec 2007
Characterization of ectonucleotidases in the basal forebrain of rat. Wellcome Trust 01 Jul 2006 31 Aug 2006
Commercialisation of purine biosensors: essential tools for scientific and clinical communities Wellcome Trust 01 Nov 2005 06 Jun 2006
Ectonucleotidases and the regulation of motor pattern generation Wellcome Trust 01 Mar 2003 28 Feb 2006
Commercialisation of purine biosensors: essential tools for scientific and clinical communities Wellcome Trust 01 Nov 2003 31 Oct 2005
Real-time detection of ATP-release in spinal cord Royal Society 16 Feb 2005 01 Mar 2005