Dr Richard MeadMead

Senior Lecturer

Department of Neuroscience
Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience
University of Sheffield
385a Glossop Road
S10 2HQ

Telephone: +44 (0)114 2222256
Email: r.j.mead@sheffield.ac.uk

Administrator: Rebecca Brown
Email: rebecca.brown@sheffield.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)114 2222261



2013 - Present: Kenneth Snowman-MND Association Lecturer in Translational Neuroscience

2010- 2013: SITraN Senior Research fellow in Translational Neuroscience, University of Sheffield, UK.

2005-2010: Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Sheffield, UK.

2002-2004: Pharmacology Team leader, Celltech/UCB, Cambridge, UK.

2001-2002: Postdoctoral research assistant, Department of Biochemistry, University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK.

1998-2001: PhD (Neuroimmunology), University of Wales College of Medicine, Cardiff, UK.

Research Interests

Research focused on drug discovery in motor neurone disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (MND/ALS), from target identification, through in vitro screening to in vivo disease model testing. Specific areas include:

  • Pharmacological manipulation of in vitro and in vivo model systems to dissect mechanisms in MND
  • Small molecule drug development for inflammatory and oxidative stress targets
  • Improving screening methodologies, evolving new in vivo screening paradigms with improved welfare, reduced biological variation and faster throughput
  • Target identification and traditional high throughput screening
  • Development and screening of phenotypic assays using high content imaging
  • Identification of ‘translational’ biomarkers, applicable in both preclinical and clinical settings
  • Investigating novel cell therapy paradigms in MND/ALS
  • Assist in the design and execution of therapeutic studies in the spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) preclinical model.
Research Team

Matthew Stopford, Postdoctoral Research Associate
Jodie Stephenson, PhD Student
Heledd Brown-Wright PhD Student
Yuri Ciervo, PhD Student
Maria Plesia PhD Student (second supervisor)
Jordan Talbot PhD Student (second supervisor)

Funding Sources

Medical Research Council
Motor Neuron Disease Association, UK
Family of Kenneth Snowman
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Trust
Industry funders – Heptares Therapeutics, Benevolent Bio

Teaching Interests

I teach on the MSc courses in Translational Neuroscience and Molecular Medicine focussing on preclinical study design, analysis of motor function, statistics and drug development. I enjoy training and supervising MSc and BMedSci students on research projects. I also do some scientific outreach work in local schools as a speaker for Understanding Animal Research.

Other Roles

Knowledge exchange champion, department of Neuroscience
Panel Member, Biomedical Research Advisory Panel, MND association


Key Publications

Stephenson J, Alix J, Shaw PJ, Mead RJ . (2016) Phenotypic Characterisation of the Human TDP-43Q331K Transgenic Mouse Model of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Demonstrates Potential for Evaluation of Therapeutic Agents.

Bennett, E, Mead RJ, Azzouz M, Shaw PS and Grierson A. Early detection of motor dysfunction in the SOD1G93A mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using home cage running wheels. PLoS One 2014 9(9): e107918. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0107918

Mead RJ, Higginbottom A, Allen SP, Kirby J, Bennett E, Barber SC, Heath PR, Coluccia A, Patel N, Gardner I, Brancale A, Grierson AJ and Shaw PJ. S[+] Apomorphine is a CNS penetrating activator of the Nrf2-ARE pathway with activity in mouse and patient fibroblast models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Free Radic Biol Med 2013. 61C, 438-452.

Mead RJ, Bennet E, , Kennerly A, Sharp P, Sunyach C, Kasher P, Berwick J, Pettmann B, Battaglia G, Azzouz M, Grierson A, Shaw PJ. Optimisation of pre-clinical pharmacology studies in the SOD1G93A transgenic mouse model of Motor Neuron Disease. 2010. PLoS One 2011. 6(8), e23244.

Barber SC, Higginbottom A, Mead RJ, Barber S and Shaw PJ. (2009) An in vitro screening cascade to identify neuroprotective antioxidants in ALS. Free Radical Biology and Medicine 2009. 46(8), 1127-38.

Valori CF, Ning K, Wyles M, Mead RJ, Grierson AJ, Shaw PJ and Azzouz M. Systemic Delivery of scAAV9 Expressing SMN Prolongs Survival in a Model of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Sci Transl Med 2010. 2, 35-42.

Key Patents

Method for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis by Inhibiting IL17 activity. Inventors Christie MI, Mead RJ, Robinson MK, Rapecki, SE. (2005) EP1687026 2006-08-09. WO2005051422. CA2544920. AU2004292393.

Therapeutics for neurological disorders. Inventors Shaw P, Mead R, Higginbottom A, Barber SC (2010). Publication number WO2010046710 (A1) describing NRF2 activating compounds for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.