The brain and spinal cord develop around a fluid filled tube that remains with us for our whole life. You produce 5 times the volume of fluid you can hold in your head every day and it therefore needs a good drainage system. Any problem with these drains can kill you within hours and this commonly happens following serious head injuries. Very little is known about the function of the fluid except for its mechanical support of the brain inside the skull. We have been studying this fluid and its role in develoment and have found it to be a critical factor in both normal and abnormal development. Most importantly we have found it to be a delivery system for nutrients to the cerebral cortex and thus we are studying changes in this fluid that may underlie serious neurological conditions in development as well as later in life.
Currently a Senor Lecturer in Neuroscience, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. I have a BSc in Biological Sciences majoring in Neurobiology from the University of Sussex (1978) and a PhD in Neurobiology from the University of Glasgow (1982). After two post-doctoral appointments in neurobiology at the Universities of Edinburgh and Sheffield, I was awarded a Royal Society (1983) University Research Fellowship which I held from 1986-1996 initially at Edinburgh and then at Manchester where I transfered to a Lectureship in 1996. I am a Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy as well as a Visiting Professor at The Institute of Child Health at The Children's Hospital Lahore. I hold awards for both research and teaching including the Casey Holter Essay Prize from the Society for Research in Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida and an Innovations in the Curriculum award for my introduction of problem-based learning to an undergraduate degree program in biological science.Based on my research I have a patent in process for a preventative and treatment for fetal and neonatal hydrocephalus and, along with clinical colleagues, am applying for a clinical trial of this treatment.