Dr Gregory Weir
- Research Fellow (Centre for Neuroscience)
I received my BA in Physiological Sciences (2007-2010) before completing a DPhil in the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics (2010-2015), both at the University of Oxford. My DPhil focussed on investigating rare genetic mutations associated with common migraine and was performed under the supervision of Dr Zameel Cader. Pursuing my interest in the biology of sensory neurons, I undertook a four year postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Professor David Bennett (2014-2019) as part of a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award: “Defining pain circuitry in health and disease.” Funded by a Career Development Award from the MRC (2020-2025) and supported by a Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith Leadership Fellowship, I am now a Senior Research Fellow in the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow, leading my own research team.
My work focusses on gaining insight into sensory neuron biology in health and disease. Sensory neurons of the dorsal root ganglia are an incredibly heterogeneous population of neurons; tasked with detecting a range of sensations including touch, itch, warmth, cooling and nociception. While much knowledge has been accrued as to the molecular profile of molecularly distinct sensory neurons, the functional roles they play in normal sensation are still unclear. Less still is understood as to which populations contribute to different aspects of pathological pain, for example following damage to the nervous system (neuropathic pain). Better knowledge of the neural circuits underlying normal nociception and pathological pain states will help advance our efforts to develop novel analgesics to meet the clinical need of pain.
I am particularly interested in using new tools available to neuroscience in order to control the activity of discreet neuronal populations. In doing so we can begin to ask fundamental questions on the role these neurons play in the sensation of pain. We have developed a chemogenetic approach capable of long-term and non-invasive neuronal silencing, which we can target to discreet populations. We are using this approach, in combination with electrophysiological recordings and advanced neuroanatomical techniques, to investigate the drivers of pathological pain.
Grants and Awards listed are those received whilst working with the University of Glasgow.
- Dissecting the relative contributions of injured and intact primary afferents to neuronal plasticity and neuropathic pain
Medical Research Council
2020 - 2025
- Rational design of an injured sensory neuron promoter to treat neuropathic pain
2020 - 2021