Ewch i’r prif gynnwys
Emma Lane

Dr Emma Lane

Senior Lecturer

Ysgol Fferylliaeth a Gwyddorau Fferyllol

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  • B.Sc. in Pharmacology, University College London, 2000
  • Ph.D. in Neuropharmacology, King's College London, 2004

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Funding bodies which support my work






















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Research interests

  • Member of the School's Pharmacology & Physiology Research Discipline

Parkinson's disease

  • Mechanisms underlying dyskinesia
  • Transplantation

Huntington's disease 

  • Mechanisms underlying chorea

Parkinson's disease and Huntington's disease are neurodegenerative movement disorders in which there is a progressive loss of specific groups of neurons in the basal ganglia circuitry. The Brain Repair Group is a 30-strong multi-disciplinary team of biomedical and clinical scientists, students and support staff, under the co-direction of 3 PI's, Dr Emma Lane in WSP, and Professors Stephen Dunnett and Anne Rosser (in the School of Bioscience). 

L-dopa-induced dyskinesia

Parkinson's disease is a largely sporadic disorder which affects around 120 000 people in the UK. It is most commonly described as a motor disorder, with the cardinal features of resting tremor, rigidity, bradykinesia and postural instability. The main pathology is the loss of the melanised dopaminergic neurons of the nigrostriatal pathway and the development of protein accumulations immunopositive for the protein a-synuclein. Many of the motor symptoms of Parkinson's disease can be well controlled in the early stages with dopaminergic drugs therapies, however as the disease develop, the main treatment for Parkinson's disease, L-dopa, causes the development of abnormal involuntary movements. These can be severely debilitating and there are currently few pharmaceutical interventions to prevent or ameliorate them. Understanding the features that predispose for the development of L-dopa induced dyskinesia may increase our ability to identify patients at greater risk and avoid or minimise them with careful management of medication. Furthermore, the effects of L-dopa may go beyond motor activation and I am interested in the possible effects of long-term L-dopa administration on motor learning and habit formation using in vivo models of PD and dyskinesia.

Graft-induced dyskinesia

Not only do dyskinesia develop, but medication become less effective at treating the motor symptoms of PD as the disease progresses. Transplantation of foetal tissue into the striatum can replace the lost dopaminergic innervation and can produce remarkable improvements in motor function. However, clinical trials have identified issues that need to be carefully considered before further clinical trial of embryonic tissue or cells from alternative sources (ie stem cells) can be attempted, including reliability and reproducibility of positive results, access to sources of embryonic tissue and alternative cell types and most notably the issue of transplantation-induced side effects. Three clinical trials of transplantation with embryonic tissue have now reported the development of dyskinesia in transplanted patients unrelated to their medication, to the extent that several have required further surgical interventions to ameliorate their symptoms. The main focus of my research over the last 5 years has been in determining mechanisms and contributing risk factors for the development of post-transplantation dyskinesia in order that transplantation can proceed unhindered into the next phase of clinical trials soon to be established with the Transeuro EU FP7 award recently awarded to a consortium of several EU teams, one of which is based at Cardiff University.

Huntington's Chorea

Huntington's disease is a genetic disorder affecting around 7000 people in the UK. An elongated stretch of CAG repeats on the gene encoding the protein Huntingtin is responsible for progressive motor, cognitive and psychiatric symptoms. One of the motor symptoms can be choreiform abnormal involuntary movements often occurring in the earlier stages of disease. Our early studies are looking at how these maybe represented in animal models of Huntington's disease to increase understanding and treatment strategies targeted towards this aspect of the disease.



  • PH1124 Human body systems (Nervous Systems)
  • PH3103 Autocoid, Endocrine and Immunopharmacology (binding workshop)
  • PH3104 Neuropharmacology (lectures on neuroanatomy, ionotropic and metabotropic receptors, neurodegenerative diseases, pain, anxiety, and anaesthesia)
  • PH4112 Pharmacy Advanced Research Specialisation (advanced essay supervision)
  • PH4207 Problem solving in Pharmacy Practice (supervision of  undergraduate final year projects)


  • Lectures on Research Students' Skills Development Programme:
  • 'Preparing for the viva: Biomedical and Life Sciences' 
  • 'In Vivo Methods: An Introduction'
  • PhD student supervision


  • 2009-onwards, Lecturer in Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • 2006-2009, Post-doctoral research associate, Brain Repair Centre, Department of Neuroscience, Cardiff University
    Working with Prof Stephen Dunnett and Prof Anne Rosser I continued my work on L-dopa and post-transplantation dyskinesia contributing to two successful EU FP7 grant awards.
  • 2004-2006, Post-doctoral research associate, Units of Neuronal Survival and Basal Ganglia Pathophysiology, Lund University, Sweden.
    I spent 2 years in Sweden with the groups of Prof Patrik Brundin and Prof Angela Cenci developing, characterizing and working with a model of post-transplantation dyskinesia
  • 2000-2004, PhD, King's College London, UK
    I had a BBSRC CASE award studentship with Prof Peter Jenner and Dr Sharon Cheetham (then Knoll Pharmaceuticals) on the potential of BTS 74398, a monoamine uptake inhibitor, as a possible anti-parkinsonian medication.
  • 1996-2000, Pharmacology B.Sc. Honours 1st Class with industrial placement, University College London, UK.
    Specialising in neuropharmacology options and spending an industrial year at Knoll Pharmaceuticals working on the pharmacology of the anti-obesity agent sibutramine.

Anrhydeddau a dyfarniadau

Grant awards

  • 2009 Wellcome Trust Biomedical Vacation Scholarship application for summer student James Davidson
  • 2009-current Scanning changes in functional brain activity associated with dyskinesia in parkinsonian rats. Parkinson's Disease Society Innovations grant, £15,000 (PI with Stephen Paisey and Stephen Dunnett)
  • 2008-2009 Wellcome Trust Value In People Award.
  • 2006-2009 Does the storage of embryonic tissue prior to transplantation affect immune responses to the graft and the development of graft induced dyskinesias? Parkinsonfonden, 100,000 SEK (PI)
  • 2006-2010 Understanding and eliminating the dyskinetic effects of nigral grafts. (Co-PI with Stephen Dunnett and Christelle Monville,)
  • 2005-2007 Pharmacological investigation into amphetamine induced dyskinesia. Parkinsonfonden, 100,000 SEK (PI)

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