Prof Andrew Tobin established the Centre for Translational Pharmacology in collaboration with Prof Graeme Milligan at the University of Glasgow in 2016; aiming at defining the molecular rules of drug efficacy with particular focus on G-protein coupled receptor based drug therapies and novel mechanisms of targeting protein kinases. The Centre will draw together academis and industrial partners and be focussed on establishing rational design strategies for the development of drugs for the treatment of neurological, inflammatory and metabolic disease as well as third world diseases such as malaria.

Collaborating Group Leaders 

 Graeme Milligan Sophie BradleyBrian Hudson 
Prof Graeme Milligan
Gardiner Chair of Biochemistry
Dean of Research
Dr Sophie Bradley
LKAS Fellow
Dr Brian Hudson

Research Staff

Dr Natasja Barki
Research Associate

I am working as postdoctoral research associate in the Tobin Group.

After my undergraduate degree at Brighton University I went on to do my Masters and PhD at the University of Sheffield. where I studied mechanisms involved in visceral hypersensitivity. Following my PhD, I went to Germany to work as a postdoc at the Technical University of Munch. My research was focussed on immune and neuronal interactions in the enteric nervous system. In 2017, I moved to Glasgow to work on a joint project with Prof Andrew Tobin and Prof Graeme Milligan.

I am currently working on the role of short chain fatty acids (FFA2 and FFA3) in the gut and their contribution to the Gut-Brain axis. We have developed a unique mouse line that expresses the FFA2-Designer Receptor Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADD). Using our mouse model and a range of techniques from in vitro pharmacology to afferent nerve recording, we are exploring how short chain fatty acid receptors regulate the Gut-Brain axis.

Louis Dwomoh
Dr Louis Dwomoh

Research Assistant

My name is Louis Dwomoh. I am Wellcome Trust Post-Doctoral Research Scientist at the Centre for Translational Pharmacology, University of Glasgow.

My research is focussed on investigating the molecular and biochemical changes occuring in different regions of the brain in neurodegeneration, and how targeting the M1 subtype of muscarinic acetylcholine receptors (M1 mAChR) could modify these changes and in extension, influence disease progression and outcome. I use a number of techniques, including mass spectrometry-based proteomics to answer these questions in prion-diseased neurodegeneration mice.

I am also interested in developing Flourescence Resonance Energy Transfer (FRET)-based assays to measure G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) phosphorylation in real-time in living cells.

Dr Omar Janha
Research Assistant


Rudi Prihandoko
Dr Rudi Prihandoko
Research Associate

I am a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Tobin laboratory and I work on the free fatty acid 4 receptor. My project is funded by the MRC and it is aimed to understand the role of the receptor in lung function and metabolic processes.Together with Professor Andrew Tobin, I co-supervise a number of PhD students, which I thoroughly enjoy.

Mario Rossi
Dr Mario Rossi
Research Associate

After obtaining my PhD in molecular bio-technology at the University of Pisa (Italy), I spent an extensive period of time in the USA as research visiting and then research fellow at the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. Since 2017 I have joined Tobin's group at the University of Glasgow.

My research is mainly focused on the neuroprotective role of the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M1 in prion-induced neurodegeneration. In particular, I have been using "omics" approaches and common techniques like "RT-PCR" and "western blots" to investigate the molecular mechanisms through which M1 receptor activation slows-down neurodegeneration, in-vivo. Moreover, I have been developing an in-vitro approach to study the effects of M1 receptor activation in prion-diseased primary neurons.

Dr Gonzalo Tejeda

Research Assistant/Associate

I completed my PhD in Neuroscience at the Institute for Biomedical Research 'Alberto Sols' in Madrid, where I characterised the pathological mechanisms that impairs the BDNF receptor TrkB in stroke and excitotoxicity. Furthermore, my doctoral research also contributed to the development of neuroprotective peptides that prevent the cleavage of these essential receptors for neuronal survival. Prior to that, I worked at the Cajal Institute in Madrid investigating the impact of depression and exercise on adult hippocampal neurogenesis. In October 2016, I joined the lab of Prof. George Baillie at the University of Glasgow in collaboration with Astrazeneca on a project led by Dr. Nick Brandon. There, I explored the regulatory mechanisms that alter phosphodiesterase levels in movement disorders such as Huntington’s disease. Currently, I am a research associate funded by Welcome Trust in Prof. Andrew Tobin’s group at the University of Glasgow. My research is focused on targeting the muscarinic acetylcholine receptor M4 to develop novel approaches for the treatment of cognitive dysfunction and behavioural disturbances associated with neurodegenerative disease and schizophrenia.

Daniele Bolognini
Dr Daniele Bolognini
Research Associate

Jointly supervised by Prof Graeme Milligan

I am a Research Associate in the Centre for Translational Pharmacology at the University of Glasgow. I received my MSc degree in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies from the University of Milan and my PhD degree in Neuropharmacology from the University of Insubria (Italy), where I started my research studies on G protein-coupled receptors. During my PhD, I spent 2 years at the University of Aberdeen where I worked on the intricate pharmacology of phytocannabinoids at cannabinoid and related receptors in collaboration with GW Pharmaceuticals. I extended this research project during my postdoctoral studies at the University of Aberdeen and University of Toronto. In 2015, I joined the University of Glasgow starting a research project focused upon the pharmacological and physiological characterization of short chain fatty acid (SCFA) receptors, conducting studies spanning from drug development to experimental pre-clinical approaches concerning metabolic and inflammatory disorders.

Dr Li-Chiung "Joe" Lin
Research Associate

Jointly supervised by Prof Graeme Milligan

Hello, I am Joe, a postdoc from Taiwan.

Currently, I am studying GPR35-associated physiological functions also applying a pharmacology-based strategy to assess potent agonists. Though GPR35 is rarely studied, it is reported that this receptor may be important for the control of some diseases such as non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Hepatic steatosis is a common chronic liver disease and can further transform into cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. It is defined as an accumulation of lipid in the liver and is caused by an imbalance of energy homeostasis. NASH, the worst type of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease may progress to scarring and irreversible damage of liver. From preliminary data, it appeared that GPR35 agonists can inhibit lipid accumulation. I am now trying to understand the role of GPR35 in fatty liver disease by using our humanized GPR35 transgenic mice and GPR35 knock-out mice.

Dr Tezz Quon
Research Associate

Jointly supervised by Prof Graeme Milligan

I am a post doc working in Graeme Milligan and Andrews Tobin’s groups in the Institute of Molecular Cell and Systemic Biology at University of Glasgow.

I did my PhD at Monash University (Clayton, Australia) in Molecular Plant Genetics, finishing in 2014. After which I briefly did volunteer work at The Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (MIPS) before being hired full time in Denise Wootten and Patrick Sexton’s group working on the GLP-1 receptor.

I have been with Graeme and Andrew since 2017, researching the function of GRP35, an orphan GPCR associated with inflammatory bowel disorders such as crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Technical Staff

Mr Colin Molloy

I am Colin Molloy, I am a Technician with in the Tobin/Bradley laboratory and work mainly with Prion Mice, but do manage all the M1 lines and arrange for Post-Docs and Students to have mice to be able to experiment with.

I do all the behavioural essays that are to do with the Neuroscience side of the projects.

Previously I worked at the university of Leicester working with the prion model and other Neurovegetative models.

Prior to that I have worked a lot with a variety of species working with my personnel licence and gained a lot of different regulatory procedure techniques.

Lisa Finlayson
Mrs Lisa Finlayson

I have been working in the Tobin/ Bradley lab as both a technician and lab manager since 2017. I am involved in neuroscience research projects that focus on GPCRs as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as, Alzheimer’s disease. I also manage the lab and associated areas, overseeing health and safety, waste management, equipment repairs and ordering of equipment/ reagents.

I have achieved a 2:1 BSc Hons in Biochemistry and Immunology (2013) from University of Strathclyde and an MRes with Distinction in Biomedical Sciences (Integrative Mammalian Biology) from University of Glasgow (2014). Over the course of my career and my studies, I have worked in a variety of different research areas including multiple sclerosis, renal fibrosis, skin papillomas and cathelicidins as well as working in an industry setting.

PhD Students

Niniola Olaniyan
Ms Niniola "Nini" Anuoluwapo Olaniyan



Jose Andres Alepuz
Mr Jose Andres Alepuz Guillen

Jointly supervised by Dr Sophie Bradley

My name is Jose Andres Alepuz Guillen and I am a first year PhD student.

My project is on the role of M1 mAChRs receptors in the infectivity and spreading of neurodegenerative diseases.

Jessica Bowden
Ms Jessica Bowden

Jointly supervised by Dr Sophie Bradley

My name is Jessica and I have been an industrial CASE PhD student in the Tobin group since September 2018, under the supervision of Sophie and Andrew, plus John Riddell from the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow, and Keith Phillips from the industrial collaborator, Eli Lilly.

My PhD project utilises in vivo electrophysiology to investigate the effects of novel drug candidates targeting muscarinic receptors. I use a novel wireless transmitter system called Taini, which lets me record from freely-moving mice in home cage and behavioural task environments.

I spent just over a year learning in vivo electrophysiological techniques at Eli Lilly, and returned to the University in January 2020 to start applying the techniques to our behavioural paradigms and models of neurodegenerative disease.

Rebecca Budgett
Ms Rebecca Budgett


Jointly supervised by Dr Sophie Bradley

My name is Rebecca Budgett and I am a first year MRS-funded PhD student working in collaboration with Heptares Therapeutics.

I am supervised by Dr Sophie Bradley and Professor Andrew Tobin at the University of Glasgow, and Dr Kirstie Bennett at Heptares.

My research aims to evaluate the role of the type 5 metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR5) in the modulation of neuroinflammation and progression of neurodegenerative disease. In this way, I hope to determine if mGluR5 is a viable drug target in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Zhaoyang Dong
Ms Zhaoyang Dong

Jointly supervised by Dr Rudi Prihandoko

I am Zhaoyang dong, a 2nd year Phd student. I am doing free fatty acid 4 receptor together with Rudi, Eloise and Abdul.

I graduated with a B.Sc. in Pharmacy from Sichuan University in China in 2014.

In 2018, I earned a master’s degree in Clinical Pharmacology from University of Glasgow and started my PhD in January 2019 with Prof Andrew Tobin and Dr Rudi Prihandoko.

My project is to find out the potential role of FFA4 in asthma pharmacological agents are used in both in cell models and animal models. The pharmacologically characterize of the agents need to be test as well.

Ms Eloise Euston


Jointly supervised by Dr Rudi Prihandoko

My name is Eloise Euston and I am just about to go into my second year of my PhD which is part of the MVLS DTP scheme within the University of Glasgow.

My project focuses on characterising novel ligands for the G protein coupled receptor, Free Fatty Acid Receptor 4 (FFA4) and the potential use of FFA4 Agonists as treatments for respiratory diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma.

I am supervised by Professor Andrew Tobin, Professor Graeme Milligan and Dr Rudi Prihandoko.

Mr Abdulrahman "Abdul" Ghali M Alharbi


Jointly supervised by Dr Rudi Prihandoko

I am a PhD student at professor Tobin’s lab at the Institute of Molecular Cell and Systemic Biology, University of Glasgow. I graduated with a B.Sc. in Clinical Pharmacy from Taif University in 2014 and then started working with Taibah University, Saudi Arabia.

In 2018, I earned a master’s degree in biomedical sciences from Strathclyde University, Glasgow and started my PhD in January 2019 with Prof Andrew Tobin and Dr Rudi Prihandoko.

My researched focused on characterising FFA4 novel ligands and their role in the treatment of metabolic diseases. To do this I will employ a range of Pharmacological and Biochemical studied to confirm that FFA4 ligands could provide a promising tool in treating metabolic disorders.

Sarah Hesse
Ms Sarah Hesse


Jointy supervised by Dr Sophie Bradley

My name is Sarah Hesse and I am a second year MVLS Doctoral Training Programme-funded PhD student.

I am working on targeting the M1 muscarinic receptor in various models of neurodegeneration. We hope to apply the knowledge gained for the refinement of compounds used in preclinical and clinical research.

Mr Kopano Mapesa


Jointly supervised by Dr Andrew Jamieson

I completed my MChem at the University of Huddersfield under the supervision of Dr. Jason Camp. 

I then joined the Tobin group (co-supervised by Dr. Andrew Jamieson, School of Chemistry ) in 2017.

My PhD is focused on the development of chemical probes in order to gain an understanding of the function of Plasmodium falciparum protein kinases.

Miriam Scarpa
Ms Miriam Scarpa


Jointly supervised by Dr Sophie Bradley

My name is Miriam Scarpa and I am a PhD student funded by an MRC-CASE studentship in collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company, and supervised by Dr Sophie Bradley, Prof Andrew Tobin and Dr Zeshan Ahmed.

My research focusses on the role of the M1 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (mAChR) in the progression of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. In particular, I am investigating the role of the phosphorylation-dependent signalling mediated by the M1 mAChR in neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration by using the murine prion disease model of terminal neurodegeneration in combination with a transgenic mouse model expressing a phosphorylation-deficient mutant of the M1 mAChR.

The techniques I have been using range from pharmacological characterisation on CHO cell-lines and primary neuronal cell cultures, animal behavioural studies, biochemical analysis including western blotting and real-time qPCR, and histology.