Projects per year
Nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs) are pentameric ligand-gated cation channels that as so-called because they are activated by the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and the tobacco alkaloid nicotine. A gene family generates 16 subunits in mammals that combine to form a diversity of subtypes of nAChR, finely tuned for different cellular and physiological functions. The distinct subtypes that are expressed in the brain have elicited interest in understanding their roles in normal brain function and their contributions to diseases, including addiction, Alzheimers’s and Parkinson’s diseases and schizophrenia, where they are potential therapeutic targets. Although much remains to be discovered nAChRs are important modulators of synaptic activity, through the presynaptic regulation of neurotransmitter release and postsynaptic modulation of local calcium concentrations, for example. Thus nAChRs, notably the alpha7 subtype, can impact on synaptic mechanisms of information processing and memory storage such as long term potentiation.
We study the molecular and cellular mechanisms governed by nAChRs in neuronal systems, often in the context of a behavioural paradigm (such as conditioned place preference as a model of drug-paired learning). This interdisciplinary research is highly collaborative, currently with Dr Chris Bailey (Dept of Pharmacy and Pharmacology) and Prof David Heal (RenaSci, Nottingham). We also have a long-standing interest in the discovery and characterisation of novel ligands for nAChRs, in collaboration with Prof Tim Gallagher (University of Bristol).
From 2010-2017 Prof Wonnacott was Associate Dean for Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Science.
Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals
In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):
Biochemistry, Doctor of Philosophy, Studies on acetylcholine release from synaptosomes, King's College London
1972 → 1975
Award Date: 1 Nov 1975
Biochemistry, Bachelor of Science, University College London
1968 → 1971
Award Date: 1 Jul 1971
Neurochemistry, Master of Science, King's College London
1971 → 1972
Reviews Editor, British Journal of Pharmacology
2020 → …
Parkinson's UK College of Experts, Parkinson's Disease Society
2019 → 2022
Advanced Grant Panel, European Research Council
2016 → 2023
Studentship Panel, NC3Rs
2016 → 2018
Reader for L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women In Science Fellowships.
2016 → 2019
Senior Editor, British Journal of Pharmacology
2012 → 2018
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1/10/10 → 30/09/14
Project: Research council
Flavonoids as neuroprotective agents in Alzheimer's Disease: Alzheimer's Society PhD Studentship with MRC
1/10/10 → 30/09/13
Project: UK charity
APPLICATION OF MESOSCALE TECHNOLOGY FOR THE MEASUREMENT OF M ULTIPLE BIOMARKERS TO EXPLORE MOLECULAR AND CELLULAR PROCESS
17/04/08 → 16/04/09
Project: Research council
Wonnacott, S. & Wolstenholme, A. J.
18/02/08 → 17/02/12
Project: UK charity
Sex differences in brain region-specific activation of c-Fos following kappa opioid receptor stimulation or acute stress in miceMa, Q., Wonnacott, S., Bailey, S. J. & Bailey, C., 11 Oct 2023, In: International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 24, 20, 19 p., 15098.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access
A conserved arginine with non-conserved function is a key determinant of agonist selectivity in α7 nicotinic ACh receptorsMinguez-Viñas, T., Nielsen, B. E., Shoemark, D. K., Gotti, C., Sessions, R. B., Mulholland, A. J., Bouzat, C., Wonnacott, S., Gallagher, T., Bermudez, I. & Oliveira, A. S., 8 Mar 2021, In: British Journal of Pharmacology. 178, 7, p. 1651-1668 18 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile5 Citations (SciVal)15 Downloads (Pure)
Contrasting effects of the α7 nicotinic receptor antagonist methyllycaconitine in different rat models of heroin reinstatementPalandri, J., Smith, S., Heal, D., Wonnacott, S. & Bailey, C., 1 Oct 2021, In: Journal of Psychopharmacology . 35, 10, p. 1204-1215 12 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen Access8 Citations (SciVal)
Wonnacott, S., 12 May 2020, Encyclopedia of Molecular Pharmacology. Offermann, S. & Rosenthal, W. (eds.). Springer, 7 p.
Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceeding › Entry for encyclopedia/dictionary
The Bidirectional Relationship Between Sleep and Inflammation Links Traumatic Brain Injury and Alzheimer's DiseaseGreen, T., Ortiz, J. B., Wonnacott, S., Williams, R. J. & Rowe, R. K., 25 Aug 2020, In: Frontiers in Neuroscience. 14, 894.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Review article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile22 Citations (SciVal)36 Downloads (Pure)