Staff Profile:Professor Ben Whalley

Professor Ben Whalley
Job Title:
Professor of Neuropharmacology
  • School Director of Research 
  • RETF Travel Grants Committee
  • Reading Systems Biology Network Committee (Pharmacy Member)
  • UK Epilepsy Research Network I&T CSG Core Member
  • Local Group Representative, British Neuroscience Association 
Areas of Interest:

Dr B. J. Whalley is a Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology and has been a lecturer at the School of Pharmacy, University of Reading since 2005. His research interests lie in investigating neuronal processes that underlie complex physiological functions such as neuronal hyperexcitability states and their consequential disorders (e.g. epilepsy, ataxia and dystonias) and learning and memory. A significant component of this research has been the development of experimental platforms that combine biological (neuronal cell culture) and machine (robotic) systems to produce 'animats' as tools for investigating the cellular correlates of complex CNS functions.

He also conducts extensive work with in vitro models of epileptiform activity using sharp microelectrode, patch clamp and multi-electrode array electrophysiological methods and in vivo rodent models of seizure. This work examines cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of anticonvulsants in clinical use or currently in clinical trials (UCB Pharmaceuticals), the identification of anticonvulsant cannabinoids (GW Pharmaceuticals, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and University of Reading Endowment Trust Fund), cannabinoid effects upon appetite and feeding behaviours (Reading Endowment Trust Fund), anti-ataxic actions of phytocannabinoids (Ataxia UK) and the development of novel electrophysiological screening methods for candidate PET ligands (GE Healthcare). Dr Whalley has also received funding from the BBSRC and EPSRC.

Dr Whalley has also been successful in obtaining grant funding from both the University of Reading and the Royal Society to build and maintain a computational cluster for the analysis of the large datasets generated by multi-electrode electrophysiological research. His group currently comprises 8 PhD students, two PDRAs and 3 research technicians. In addition to his work being featured in New Scientist, national newspapers and an exhibition at the Science Museum (London), he has also appeared in, and advised on, a number of scientific television programmes that have been broadcast.

Current research group members:

Dr Imogen Smith (PDRA)

Dr Sajjida Jaffer (PDRA)

Dr Yuki Yamasaki (Visiting Scientist, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals)

Mrs Ahlam Al-Husaini (PhD)

Mr Naoki Amada (PhD & Visiting Scientist, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals)

Mrs Rebecca Hadid (PhD)

Mr Thomas Hill (PhD)

Miss Isabelle Peres (PhD)

Mr Marcus Haag (PhD)

Mr Satoshi Akiyama (Visiting Scientist, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals)

Miss Sarah Glyn (Research Technician)

Research groups / Centres:

Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience Research Group (Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics)

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This list was generated on Tue Mar 3 17:20:24 2015 GMT.


Other peer reviewed publications:

1. Warwick, K, Nasuto, SJ, Becerra, VM & Whalley BJ (Accepted for publication in 2010) Experiments with an in vitro robot brain" Lecture Notes In Artificial Intelligence (Editor: Y. Cai) Springer.

2. Preece DG & Whalley BJ (2009) Proportions of cannabis constituents: links to epileptic seizure susceptibility. Drug Information Journal 43(2): 228.

3. Hammond MW, Marshall S, Downes JH, Xydas D, Nasuto SJ, Becerra VM, Warwick K, Whalley BJ (2008) Robust Methodology For The Study Of Cultured Neuronal Networks on MEAs. Proceedings MEA Meeting 2008 BIOPRO edition Stuttgart: BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH 5: 293-295.

4. Downes JH, Hammond MW, Xydas D, Whalley BJ, Becerra VM, Warwick K & Nasuto SJ (2008) Real-time and Batch Control of MEA Channel Selection and Stimulation Proceedings MEA Meeting 2008 BIOPRO edition Stuttgart: BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH 5: 157-158.

Edited books

1. Fletcher K, Howard R, Weston S & Whalley BJ A Foundation in Pharmacy Practice, Pharmaceutical Press (London) ISBN 978-0-853-69747-3

Book chapters:

1. Xydas D, Norcott DJ, Warwick K, Whalley BJ, Nasuto SJ, Becerra VM, Hammond MW, Downes J & Marshall S Architecture for Neuronal Cell Control of a Mobile Robot pp23-31 in Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics (EUROS2008) Pub: Springer Berlin / Heidelberg ISBN 978-3-540-78315-2.

2. Weston S, Wilkinson J, Whalley BJ & Williamson EM New findings on medicinal cannabis (Ch. 3) in Recent developments in plant research Ed. Anna Capasso. Pub: Research Signpost, India. ISBN 978-8-130-8016-0

3. Xydas D, Warwick K, Whalley BJ, Nasuto SJ, Becerra VM, Hammond MW & Downes J Neuroscope (Ch. 3) in Material Beliefs Ed. J. Beaver & T. Kerridge Pub: Goldsmiths, University of London, UK ISBN 978-1-904158-95-0


Ben Whalley

Contact Details

+44 (0) 118 378 4745

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