Dr Claire Gibson

Head of School
Senior Lecturer in Behavioural Neuroscience

School of Psychology

University of Leicester

Lancaster Road

Leicester LE1 9HN

Email: cg95@le.ac.uk

Tel:+44(0)116 2297017

PhD Neuroscience (University of Newcastle)

BSc Neuroscience (University of Sheffield)


Research Interests

  • The potential of steroid hormones as protective factors following ischaemic stroke.

Cerebral ischaemic stroke, in the UK, is the 3rd leading cause of mortality, 1st leading cause of morbidity and estimated to cost the NHS £2.8 bn per annum in direct costs.  There is a real need for basic research to identify potential neuroprotective strategies in order to determine whether clinical investigation is warranted.  Steroid hormones, such as oestrogens and progesterone, have been shown to have neuroprotective properties following stroke and my research focuses on investigating the mechanisms of progesterone neuroprotection and assessing the translational potential of progesterone treatment.

In addition, steroid hormones are believed to have an influence on cognitive functioning.  My research is aimed at investigating how oestrogens affect cognitive functions over the normal life span and during cognitive disorders including dementia of the Alzheimer's type.

  • Investigating inflammatory mediators of ischaemic damage to identify potential therapeutic targets.

Inflammation is key contributor to the damage that occurs following ischaemic stroke and the identification of the key mediators of this inflammatory response will help identify potential therapeutic targets.  My lab investigates, in collaboration with stroke clinicians at the University of Nottingham, the molecular mechanisms that mediate the breakdown of the blood-brain barrier in order to identify potential treatment strategies.  In addition, I am pursuing an interest in the role of prostaglandins following ischaemic stroke in collaboration with Dr Grubb (Department of Cell Physiology & Pharmacology).

Recent publications - full list available

Trotman M, Vermehren P, Gibson CL, Fern R (2014) The dichotomy of memantine treatment for ischemic stroke; dose-dependent protective and detrimental effects. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism, 35: 230-239.

Wong R, Gibson CL, Kendall D, Bath PWM (2014) Evaluating the translational potential of progesterone treatment following transient cerebral ischaemia in male mice.  BMC Neuroscience, 15:131.

Gibson CL, Srivastava K, Sprigg N, Bath PMW, Bayraktutan U (2014) Inhibition of Rho-kinase protects cerebral barrier from ischemia-evoked injury through modulations of endothelial cell oxidative stress and tight junctions. Journal of Neurochemistry, 129: 816-826.

Gibson CL (2013) Cerebral ischemic stroke – is gender important? Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow & Metabolism 33: 1355-1361.

Shah DS, Prados J, Gamble J, De Lillo C, Gibson CL (2013) Sex differences in spatial memory using serial and search tasks. Behavioural Brain Research 257: 90-99.

Wong R, Hogg C, Gibson CL, Murphy S, Kendall DA, Bath PMW (2013) Progesterone treatment for experimental stroke: an individual animal meta-analysis. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism 33: 1362-1372.

Wong R, Kendall D, Bath PMW, Gibson CL (2013) Progesterone and ischaemia in the ageing brain. Journal of Neuroendocrinology, 25: 1088-1094.

Akram A, Gibson CL, Grubb BD (2013) Neuroprotection mediated by the EP4 receptor avoids the detrimental side effects of COX-2 inhibitors following ischaemic injury. Neuropharmacology, 65:165-172.

Chauhan NK, Young AMJ, Gibson CL, Davidson C (2013) Inhibition of pre-ischaemic conditioning in the mouse caudate brain slice by NMDA- or adenosine A1 receptor antagonists. European Journal of Pharmacology, 698: 322-329.

Prados J, Alvarez B, Howarth J, Stewart K, Gibson CL, Hutchinson CV, Young AMJ, Davidson C (2013) Cue competition effects in the planarian. Animal Cognition, 16: 177-186.

Recent Grants/Awards

2015-18: National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) - PhD Studentship.

2015-18: British Journal of Anaesthesia - PhD Studentship (with Professor Dave Lambert, Department of Cardiovascular Sciences).

2014-15: National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) - Pilot Grant.

2014: Rosetrees Foundation Award, British Society for Neuroendocrinology Project Support Award.

Funding is also gratefully acknowleged from the following: Wellcome Trust, MediSearch & University of Nottingham SandPit funds, Nuffield Foundation and Research Into Ageing.

Current lab members

Ms Melissa Trotman (Research Assistant), Ms Entisar Elsaeedi (PhD student, joint with Cell Physiology & Pharmacology). 

Previous lab members: Ms Asha Akram (PhD Student), Mr Raymond Wong (visiting PhD student, University of Nottingham), Dr Ben Coomber (Research Into Ageing funded postdoc), Mr Stephen Knight (Intercalated medical student), Mr Tim Fleming (Intercalated medical student), Mr Nathan Price (Intercalated medical student), Mr Luke Attwood (Intercalated medical student).

Potential PhD Applicants: Enquiries are welcome from potential PhD students, please see: http://www2.le.ac.uk/study/research/phd/psychology/phd/phd

Links to dedicated research pages

UK Preclinical Stroke Symposium 2013

Behavioural Neuroscience research in the School of Psychology

Neuroscience at Leicester: http://www2.le.ac.uk/projects/neuroweb

Teaching Links

PS1000 Introductory Psychology

PS2014/8 Biological Psychology

PS2020 Cognitive Neuroscience Library Module

PS3010 Behavioural Neuroscience

PS3013 Clinical Psychology

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