Staff Profile:Professor Ben Whalley

Professor Ben Whalley
Job Title:
Professor of Neuropharmacology
  • School Director of Research
  • University Research Ethics Committee Member
  • RETF Travel Grants Committee
  • CINN Strategy Board
Areas of Interest:

Prof. Whalley is a Professor of Neuropharmacology and has worked at the Reading School of Pharmacy, University of Reading since 2005. His research interests lie in neuronal hyperexcitability states, their consequential disorders (e.g. epilepsy) and the preclinical development of new treatments for such disorders. A significant component of this research has been the development of new disease models, including the refinement of animal models of disease and the replacement of animals in medical research, with a particular focus on the application of electrophysiological techniques.

Prof. Whalley's work has identified cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of anticonvulsants in clinical use or currently in clinical trials (e.g. UCB Pharmaceuticals), discovered non-psychoactive, anticonvulsant components of cannabis (GW Pharmaceuticals, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and University of Reading Endowment Trust Fund), investigated 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). Two components of cannabis that were identified and characterised by Prof. Whalley are now being developed in Phase II and Phase III human clinical trials as treatments for drug-resistant paediatric epilepsies.

In addition to his work being featured in New Scientist, national newspapers and an exhibition at the Science Museum (London), Prof. Whalley has also appeared in, and advised on, a number of scientific television programmes. His work also comprised Impact Case Studies for the REF2014 exercise. Prof. Whalley is a member of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

Prof. Whalley's research has been funded by grants from the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. GW Pharmaceuticals, UCB Pharmaceuticals), charities (e.g. Ataxia UK, CURE), BBSRC, EPSRC and NC3Rs.

Research groups / Centres:

Current Research Group Members

Dr Michael Bazelot (Visiting Scientist, GW Pharmaceuticals)

Dr Camille Soubrane (PDRA)

Mrs Ahlam Al-Husaini (PhD)

Mr Thomas Hill (PhD)

Mr Marcus Haag (PhD)

Miss Sarah Turner (PhD)

Mr Dan Brierley (PhD)

Mr Tong Chen (PhD)

Mr Clementino Ibeas Bih (PhD)

Miss Ariane Thrun (PhD)

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    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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