Meet our experts: Professor Graham Collingridge
We are really proud to have Graham Collingridge on our Scientific Advisory Board. He is a member of the Faculty of 1000 and a former president of the British Neuroscience Association. He is also a co winner of The Brain Prize 2016 - regarded as the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for neuroscientists. We chatted to Graham, to find out more about him, his research, and his ambitions...
Name: Graham Collingridge
Place of work: Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute, Mount Sinai Hospital, Toronto, Canada / Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, Canada / School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience, University of Bristol, UK
Tell us about your current position
I am Chair of Physiology at the University of Toronto and principal investigator at the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute (LTRI). I’ve been here for 18 months.
What led to you becoming a researcher?
I was very interested in trying to understand how the brain works, which led me to becoming a researcher.
Can you give us a brief rundown on the current direction of your research?
I work in the field of synaptic plasticity which is considered the neural basis of learning and memory. I’m particularly interested in understanding its fundamental mechanisms and what goes wrong in neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Why is this research important?
Brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, autism, chronic pain and depression play a huge socio-economic burden on society.
What does a typical day involve for you?
I often spend most of my day trying to secure funding for my research!
Where does your funding come from and are there differences to how you secure finding now to how you succeeded in the past?
My current funding comes from Brain Canada and the CFI (Canadian foundation for innovation). In the past, it came primarily from the MRC (Medical Research Council), the BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) and the ERC (European Research Council). Now that I’m based in Toronto securing funding is slightly different as I’m competing within North America.
Is there anything that drives you mad when you hear it used to describe your field of study?
Nothing that I can think of – which is a good thing!
If you had one thing that you could ensure people understand about your field of study what would it be?
That our field is hugely important for understanding what goes wrong with our minds in the aging and diseased brain.
What are you passionate about, both in your work and away from the lab?
At work, I’m passionate about making scientific contributions that are meaningful.
Away from the lab - snowboarding, skiing and Tottenham Hotspur football (soccer) club!
What do you bring to the Hello Bio scientific advisory board?
I have an extensive background in the pharmacology of glutamate receptors.
What Hello Bio products do you use / have you used in your research?
We’ve used a huge range of glutamate related ligands from the Hello Bio range.
Why are you using those products / what are you using them for?
I use various compounds in my research because glutamate receptors are fundamental in health and disease. Hello Bio make the highest quality products that I can rely on.
What has using these products helped you to achieve?
Increasing the understanding of brain function.
What are your ambitions for your future career?
Given that it’s too late for me to be a competitive snow boarder or to play for Tottenham, my ambition is to help develop and improve therapies for serious brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, autism and chronic pain.