Neurotrauma & Neuroprotection Laboratory
My lab is interested in understanding the molecular pathophysiology of brain injuries such as traumatic brain injury (TBI) and stroke and in neuroprotection (preventing or limiting the spread of injury). Currently there are no effective neuroprotective drugs that target the injury development that occurs following TBI or stroke. We have been investigating the neuroprotective efficacy of anaesthetics and inert gases such as xenon and argon. The identification of the molecular targets of certain anaesthetics such as xenon has led to the idea of using them as treatments to prevent brain damage in conditions such as traumatic brain injury and hypoxic/ischemic injury such a neonatal asphyxia and post-cardiac arrest brain damage. In my lab we use a variety of approaches to study the molecular actions of anaesthetics and neuroprotectants; these include patch-clamp electrophysiology, site-directed mutagenesis and models of brain injury.
Enquiries from prospective PhD, BSc, MRes or Erasmus students are always welcome
We participated in "Science Uncovered", an event for the general public at London's Natural History Museum in 2012 & 2013. Science Uncovered is the Natural History Museum’s biggest after hours event attended by 8,500 visitors and is part of an EU funded European Researcher's Day with events taking place simultaneuosly throughout Europe. Click here for a news report on the event. You can see photos of our stand.
In April 2013 we participated in the Wonder Festival of Art & Science of the Brain at London's Barbican Centre where we showcased our neuroprotection work. The event was attended by over 5,000 visitors. In May 2013, May 2014 & May 2016 the research group took part in the Imperial Festival in an event attended by 15,000 members of the public and alumni.
We participated in event for Imperial College Alumni & Donors, November 2014. We participated in Imperial Fringe event to launch the Imperial College Annual Report on Animal Research, February 2015. Our lab has done an outreach activity day at Gillespie Primary School on physiology & the brain.
Dr Dickinson worked with the innovative Lab 13 Science Lab at Gillespie Primary on a project on Manuka Honey funded by British Pharmacological Society. The pupils presented at Cheltenham Science Festival in 2015 and the project was featured in The Times, The Mail Online, Science in School and The British Society for Immunology website.
Current Group Members
Dr Rita Campos Pires Dr Phillip Aitken Dr Jitka Aldhoun
Laura Abelleira Flavia Valeo Hazel May
Kate Gallagher Maria Balaet Amaia Cadinanos Garai
Joanna Saville Paul Soumalias
GROUP MEMBERS 2012-16
Scott Armstrong Katie Harris Diya Malhotra
Mariia Koziakova Sarah Ceichanowicz
Amina Yonis Perrine Pluchon Ala Medjadam
Ashni Pau (BSc) Sophie Rae (BSc)
Group member Rita Campos Pires won the prize for best oral presentation at the Imperial College Academic Health Science Centre research event in 2015.
Medical student Ashni Pau won the Evelyn de Rothschild Prize for Best BSc Project for her work on xenon neuroprotection. Ashni is seen here (second left) with other BSc Prize winners and Professor Alison McGregor (centre) Head of Year 4 Medicine.
Katie Harris won a special prize for Science Communication and second prize overall in the Graduate School Poster Competition.
Scott Armstrong won first prize in the student poster competition at The Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies launch event in October 2013. Co-author Rita Campos-Pires collected the award from Professor Sir Anthony J Newman Taylor CBE.
Group Members 2011-12
Rebecca LeVay (BSc) Martin Evans (BSc) Yi Ying Law (BSc)
Louise Kiru (MRes) Wee Hong-Ang (MRes)
et al., 2014, Molecular Modeling of a Tandem Two Pore Domain Potassium Channel Reveals a Putative Binding Site for General Anesthetics, ACS Chemical Neuroscience, Vol:5, ISSN:1948-7193, Pages:1246-1252
et al., 2018, Xenon Protects against Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury in an In Vitro Model, Journal of Neurotrauma, Vol:35, ISSN:0897-7151, Pages:1037-1044
Campos-Pires R, Edge CJ, Dickinson R, 2016, Argon: A Noble Foe for Subarachnoid Hemorrhage, Critical Care Medicine, Vol:44, ISSN:0090-3493, Pages:1456-1457
et al., 2015, Xenon Improves Neurologic Outcome and Reduces Secondary Injury Following Trauma in an In Vivo Model of Traumatic Brain Injury, Critical Care Medicine, Vol:43, ISSN:0090-3493, Pages:149-158
et al., 2013, A propofol binding site on mammalian GABA(A) receptors identified by photolabeling, Nature Chemical Biology, Vol:9, ISSN:1552-4450, Pages:715-+
et al., 2013, Neuroprotection against Traumatic Brain Injury by Xenon, but Not Argon, Is Mediated by Inhibition at the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Glycine Site, Anesthesiology, Vol:119, ISSN:0003-3022, Pages:1137-1148
et al., 2012, Identification of Two Mutations (F758W and F758Y) in the N-methyl-D-aspartate Receptor Glycine-binding Site that Selectively Prevent Competitive Inhibition by Xenon without Affecting Glycine Binding, Anesthesiology, Vol:117, ISSN:0003-3022, Pages:38-47
et al., 2011, A specific amino acid in the glycine-binding site of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor is involved in xenon inhibition of the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor, British Journal of Anaesthesia, Vol:106
Dickinson R, Franks NP, 2010, Bench-to-bedside review: Molecular pharmacology and clinical use of inert gases in anesthesia and neuroprotection, Critical Care, Vol:14, ISSN:1466-609X
Banks P, Franks NP, Dickinson R, 2010, Xenon neuroprotection against hypoxia-ischemia is mediated by the N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor glycine site, British Journal of Anaesthesia, Vol:104
Banks P, Franks NP, Dickinson R, 2010, Competitive Inhibition at the Glycine Site of the N-Methyl-D-Aspartate Receptor Mediates Xenon Neuroprotection against Hypoxia-Ischemia, Anesthesiology, Vol:112, ISSN:0003-3022, Pages:614-622
et al., 2000, Contrasting synaptic actions of the inhalational general anesthetics isoflurane and xenon, Anesthesiology, Vol:92, ISSN:0003-3022, Pages:1055-1066
et al., 1998, How does xenon produce anaesthesia?, Nature, Vol:396, ISSN:0028-0836, Pages:324-324
et al., 2007, Competitive inhibition at the glycine site of the n-methyl-d-aspartate receptor by the Anesthetics xenon and Isoflurane, Anesthesiology, Vol:107, ISSN:0003-3022, Pages:756-767
et al., 2017, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Saving Lives, Advancing Treatment, Carbon Monoxide Poisoning: Saving Lives, Advancing Treatment, London, All Party Parliamentary Group on Carbon Monoxide