Dr Jeffrey Davies
Associate Professor
Biomedical Sciences
Telephone: (01792) 602209
Room: Academic Office - 205
Second Floor
Institute of Life Science 1
Singleton Campus

I am interested in how alterations in metabolic status effect brain function.
My laboratory is currently focused on delineating the mechanism(s) of action of circulating hormones, that are regulated by feeding, on protecting against nerve cell loss associated with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease. We are also keen to understand how these circulating hormones may modulate neural stem cell (NSC) plasticity in adults to promote memory function.

Areas of Expertise

  • Parkinson's disease
  • Dementia
  • Regenerative medicine
  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Ghrelin
  • Adult hippocampal neurogenesis
  • Neural Stem Cells
  • Dementia

Publications

  1. & Identification of Two Further Splice Variants of GABABR1 Characterizes the Conserved Micro-Exon 4 as a Hot Spot for Regulated Splicing in the Rat Brain. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 26(1), 099-108.
  2. & Ghrelin-Mediated Hippocampal Neurogenesis: Implications for Health and Disease. Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism
  3. & Regulatory Architecture of the Neuronal Cacng2/Tarpγ2 Gene Promoter: Multiple Repressive Domains, a Polymorphic Regulatory Short Tandem Repeat, and Bidirectional Organization with Co-regulated lncRNAs. Journal of Molecular Neuroscience 67(2), 282-294.
  4. & Calorie restriction activates new adult born olfactory‐bulb neurones in a ghrelin‐dependent manner but acyl‐ghrelin does not enhance subventricular zone neurogenesis. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 31(7)
  5. & The Impact of Ghrelin on the Survival and Efficacy of Dopaminergic Fetal Grafts in the 6-OHDA-Lesioned Rat. Neuroscience 395, 13-21.

See more...

Teaching

  • PM-139 Human Physiology I

    This module aims to provide an understanding of the structure and function of key physiological systems of the human body. Human physiology is the study of how our body works in an integrated way. A central principle of human physiology is homeostasis, the maintenance of a relatively stable internal environment. Failure to maintain homeostasis disrupts normal function that may lead to disease (or pathophysiology). Students will be taught the key concepts of homeostasis in the physiological systems of the body, enabling the student to understand the consequences of pathophysiology to human health. Students will gain practical experience in assessing physiological function during two laboratory based exercises.

  • PM-257 Neuroscience

    In order to help students understand the biological basis for behavioural neuroscience and neurological disorders, this module seeks to integrate the multidisciplinary sciences - for example, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry - that have combined to build the emerging field of neuroscience. The aim is to gain a mechanistic and holistic knowledge of the nervous system that builds from the molecular, cellular and developmental, to the systems level. In addition to exploring normal function, this module will introduce common disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems in an integrated way. Students will be guided in exploring the scientific evidence around what is known and unknown and will be introduced to current research findings in the scientific literature.

  • PM-304 Biomolecular Research Project

    *

  • PM-304C Prosiect Ymchwil Biofoleciwlaidd

    Profiad gwaith mewn labordy ymchwil.

  • PM-341 Human Biology and the Environment

    This module is intended to provide an understanding of how our environmental factors impact on key aspects of human biology. Various environmental factors such as diet, stress, and pollution will be considered with a focus on their effects on epigenetics, inflammation, gut microbiota, mitochondrial health, and oxidative stress in non-communicable diseases in particular (e.g. chronic respiratory disease, cancer and metabolic disorders). The effect of extreme environments (e.g. altitude, space) and ageing on multiple organ systems will be considered. Students will gain practical experience in communicating these issues to scientific and non-scientific audiences.

  • PM-344C Prosiect Capfaen

    Nod y modiwl hwn yw rhoi cyfle i fyfyrwyr gael profiad dysgu capfaen drwy gymryd rhan yn eu prosiect eu hunain yn seiliedig ar gwestiwn ymchwil. Gan ddibynnu ar linyn cyflogadwyedd y myfyriwr yn y rhaglen, gall y prosiect fod yn seiliedig ar waith labordy, data neu addysg, ond bydd bob amser yn cynnwys cwestiwn ymchwil sy'n deillio o'r llenyddiaeth, ac sy'n canolbwyntio ar bwnc perthnasol i wyddor feddygol. Bydd yn gofyn cwestiwn ymchwil newydd ac yn cynnwys dadansoddiad beirniadol o ganfyddiadau ymchwil. Bydd myfyrwyr yn mireinio eu sgiliau cyfathrebu llafar ac ysgrifenedig i lefel raddedig, drwy lunio cyflwyniad rhagarweiniol ar gefndir y prosiect, ynghyd â thraethawd estynedig a chyflwyniad llafar ar ganfyddiadau eu hymchwil.

  • PM-347 Human Immunopathology

    The module aims to provide students with a greater understanding of the human immune system and the causes of a range of diseases associated with immune dysfunction including autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders and neurological conditions.

  • PM-368C Doctor as a Practitioner 4

    This module enables medical students to consolidate their clinical and communication skills within their clinical practice, building on what they have learned in the previous years and preparing themselves for the foundation year training programme. Focusing on the notion of the Doctor as a practitioner (Tomorrow's Doctors, GMC 2009), this module enables students to further enhance their skills within a safe but clinically-focused environment.

  • PM-402 Advanced Research Project B

    The advanced research project is a key component of the final year of study, providing students with experience of conducting cutting-edge research in the Institute of Life Science and Centre for Nanohealth over an 9-month period. The project will fall into one of the current medically-related research themes: Biomarkers and Genes; Microbes and Immunity; Devices. Students will employ a range of advanced analytical procedures to investigate a specific topic. In addition, they will gain experience in preparing a research proposal and presenting their data in various formats. Research topics will be assigned that are appropriate to a specific degree title. For example, a Genetics student could be assigned a project investigating gene function in an insect vector of a tropical disease, using the technique of RNA interference. The advanced research project is divided between 2 modules, PM-400 and PM-402. PM-402 comprises the final written dissertation.

  • PM-402C Prosiect Ymchwil Uwch B

    Mae'r prosiect ymchwil uwch yn elfen allweddol o'r flwyddyn astudio olaf, gan roi cyfle i fyfyrwyr gael profiad o ymchwil arloesol yn y Sefydliad Gwyddor Bywyd a'r Ganolfan NanoIechyd dros naw mis. Bydd y prosiect yn seiliedig ar un o'r themâu ymchwil canlynol sy'n ymwneud â'r gwyddorau meddygol: Biofarcwyr a Genynnau; Microbau ac Imiwnedd; Dyfeisiau. Bydd myfyrwyr yn defnyddio amrywiaeth o dechnegau dadansoddi uwch i ymchwilio i bwnc penodol. Yn ogystal, cânt brofiad o lunio cynnig ymchwil a chyflwyno eu data mewn amrywiaeth o fformatau. Dynodir pynciau ymchwil sy'n briodol i deitl gradd penodol. Er enghraifft, os yw myfyriwr yn astudio Geneteg, gellir dynodi prosiect yn ymchwilio i weithrediad gennyn mewn fector pryfed clefyd trofannol, gan ddefnyddio techneg ymyrraeth RNA. Rhennir y prosiect ymchwil uwch rhwng dau fodiwl, PM-400 a PM-402. PM402 yw¿r traethawd estynedig terfynol.

Supervision

  • Cellular and molecular mechanisms of ghrelin-mediated neurogenesis (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alwena Morgan
  • Ghrelin AMPK mediated mitochondrial dynamics (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Alwena Morgan
    Other supervisor: Prof Catherine Thornton
  • Preventing nerve cell loss in Alzheimer's disease: a role for the orexigenic hormone ghrelin? (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alwena Morgan
    Other supervisor: Dr Owain Howell
  • Investigating novel small molecule enzyme inhibitors for treating cognitive decline and dementia (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alwena Morgan
  • The role of neuronal autophagy in ghrelin mediated neuroprotection and neurogenesis: Implications for dementia and associated disease (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alwena Morgan
  • The role of ghrelin in regulation of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alwena Morgan
  • Assessing the Role of the Ghrelin-axis in Extra-Hypothalamic Brain Function (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Catherine Thornton
  • 'Acyl-ghrelin mediated lipid retention and inflammation within in vitro and ex vivo adipose depots' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Jeffrey Stephens
    Other supervisor: Dr Sarah Prior
  • 'Natural and Synthetic GHSR1a Agonists as Neuroprotective Agents in Models of Parkinson's Disease' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Catherine Thornton
  • 'The Effects of Ghrelin and Mild Nutrient Restriction on Neuronal Autophagy' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MRes
    Other supervisor: Dr Alwena Morgan