Dr Jason Berwick

PhD, Bsc(Hons)

Department of Psychology

Reader in Neurophysiology

Assistant Faculty Director of Research and Innovation

j.berwick@sheffield.ac.uk
+44 114 222 6597

Full contact details

Dr Jason Berwick
Department of Psychology
Cathedral Court
1 Vicar Lane
Sheffield
S1 2LT
Profile

I joined the Department of Psychology in 1996 as a PhD student in the laboratory of Professor John Mayhew. Our research uses multimodal imaging and electrophysiological techniques to measure a mechanism in the brain called Neurovascular coupling (NVC). This mechanism provides the image contrast for modern neuroimaging technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and the early focus of the research was to understand NVC in order to provide a better understanding and interpretation of fMRI signals.

My position was made permanent in 2007 and our research has now expanded to investigate in neurodegenerations with a particular focus on Alzheimer’s disease and focal cortical epilepsy. Our laboratory is focussed on not only understanding NVC decline in disease but also in the development of novel therapies that target the cerebrovascular system to slow down or halt disease progression.

I am in the privileged position in that my job is also my hobby and I am passionate about encouraging students to experience research and to help develop the next generation of scientists.

Qualifications
  • Bsc (Hons) Anatomy and Cell Biology, University of Sheffield.
  • PhD Neuroscience, University of Sheffield
Research interests

Neurovascular coupling is a mechanism that ensures active regions of the brain are supplied with enough oxygen and glucose to function properly. Although first discovered over 130 years ago, to this day we still do not have a complete understanding about how neurovascular coupling works. Our laboratory uses multimodal neuroimaging and electrophysiological techniques to measure and understand neurovascular coupling in normal function, how it goes wrong in disease and importantly to develop new therapies based on enhancing/restoring cerebrovascular function.

Neurovascular

Current projects include:

  • Neurovascular coupling and breakdown in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Neurovascular coupling in Focal Cortical Epilepsy
  • Interpretation of the negative BOLD fMRI signal
  • The role of temperature in Neurovascular coupling.
  • The interaction between Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease
Publications

Show: Featured publications All publications

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Martin C, Berwick J, Kennerley A, Zheng Y & Mayhew J (2009) Spatiotemporal complexity in the haemodynamic response to somatosensory stimulation in the un-anaesthetized rat. JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM, Vol. 29 (pp S105-S105) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Martin C, Kennerley A, Berwick J, Sibson N & Mayhew J (2009) Functional magnetic resonance imaging in un-anaesthetized rats using a chronically implanted surface coil. JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM, Vol. 29 (pp S606-S607) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Zheng Y, Pan Y, Harris S, Billings S, Coca D, Berwick J, Kennerley A, Johnston D & Mayhew J (2009) A mathematical model of the neurovascular coupling suggesting both vasodilation and vasoconstriction. JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM, Vol. 29 (pp S19-S20) RIS download Bibtex download

All publications

Journal articles

Chapters

Conference proceedings papers

  • Das D, Kennerley AJ, Harris S & Berwick J (2017) The influence of mild hypercapnia on brain intracellular pH, phosphate metabolites and cerebral blood flow: A multi-nuclear (1H/31P) MR study at 7T. Proc. Intl. Soc. Mag. Reson. Med. (2017), 22 April 2017 - 27 April 2017. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Martin C, Berwick J, Kennerley A, Zheng Y & Mayhew J (2009) Spatiotemporal complexity in the haemodynamic response to somatosensory stimulation in the un-anaesthetized rat. JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM, Vol. 29 (pp S105-S105) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Martin C, Kennerley A, Berwick J, Sibson N & Mayhew J (2009) Functional magnetic resonance imaging in un-anaesthetized rats using a chronically implanted surface coil. JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM, Vol. 29 (pp S606-S607) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Zheng Y, Pan Y, Harris S, Billings S, Coca D, Berwick J, Kennerley A, Johnston D & Mayhew J (2009) A mathematical model of the neurovascular coupling suggesting both vasodilation and vasoconstriction. JOURNAL OF CEREBRAL BLOOD FLOW AND METABOLISM, Vol. 29 (pp S19-S20) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Mayhew J, Berwick J, Kennerley A, Martindale J, Papadakis N & Zheng Y (2004) Concurrent optical imaging spectroscopy, laser Doppler flowmetry and magnetic resonance imaging in the investigation of the relative intra and extra vascular contributions to the BOLD signal. Biomedical Topical Meeting, 2004. RIS download Bibtex download
  • Jones M, Gias C, Martin C, Berwick J, Martindale J, Johnston D, Mayhew J & Coffey P (2002) Optical imaging of visual cortex in unanaesthetised rat. INVESTIGATIVE OPHTHALMOLOGY & VISUAL SCIENCE, Vol. 43 (pp U1339-U1339) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Porrill J, Stone JV, Berwick J, Mayhew J & Coffey P (2000) Analysis of optical imaging data using weak models and ICA. ADVANCES IN INDEPENDENT COMPONENT ANALYSIS (pp 217-233) RIS download Bibtex download
Research group

Postdoctural staff

  • Dr Osman Shabir – Investigating the links between Atherosclerosis and Dementia

Postgraduate students

  • Llywelyn Lee (RA/PhD student): Using an optogenetic approach to investigate interneuron regulation of cerebral blood flow

  • Bethany Eyre (PhD student): Cognitive and neurovascular function in an APP/PS1 mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.

Grants
  • 2020-2023       British Heart Foundation Project grant: Atherosclerosis, the brain and vascular dementia – the role of inflammation in neurovascular function. Professor Sheila Francis (PI), Dr Jason Berwick (CO-I), Dr Clare Howarth, Professor Stuart Allan, and Dr Emmanuel Pinteaux: £256K
  • 2019-2022       Battelle PhD studentship: Understanding neurovascular breakdown in the APP/PS1 mouse. Berwick J and Howarth (Joint PI’s), Vazquez A (CO-I) - £137K
  • 2016    MRC-KHIDI UK-KOREA PARTNERING AWARDS Title: Integrating multimodal imaging technologies to investigate neurovascular dysfunction in neurological disorders Sheffield University Team: Dr Jason Berwick (PI), Dr Luke Boorman, Dr Sam Harris, Dr Paul Sharp Sungkyunkwan University Team: Professor Minah Suh (PI). Dr Eunha Baeg, Dr Chaejeong Heo, Dr Sohee Lee. Total value: £20K
  • 2016-2018.  Brain Research New Zealand. Dysfunctional Neurovascular Coupling: A precursor to Alzheimer’s? David T (PI), Berwick J (CO-I). $180K NZ Dollar.
  • 2015    FRIENZ study tour of New Zealand – ‘Living a Long and Healthy Life. ~£10K
  • 2015-2018       Epilepsy Research UK project grant. How activation of sensory regions can promote propagation of adjacent focal neocortical seizures. Berwick J (PI), Harris S, Schwartz T, Overton PG, Kennerley A, Zheng Y. £147K
  • 2015-2018       Medical Research Council. Investigating the thermoregulatory role of neurovascular coupling and the anti-epileptogenic and neuroprotective effects of focal cerebral cooling. Berwick J (PI), Harris S, Martin C, Redgrave P, Boorman L, Kennerley A. ~£558K Full Fec
  • 2014-2016       Interdisciplinary Research Grant Alzheimer’s Research UK. Neurovascular dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease: the search for early biomarkers. Berwick J (PI), Wharton S, Heath P. ~£507K full fec
  • 2015-2019      Wellcome Trust Health Innovation Challenge Fund – Round 8. GOLD imaging in acute stroke: further technology development incorporating a perfluorocarbon oxygen carrier. Muir K (PI), Santosh C (PI), Macrae IM, Deuchar G, Berwick J (CO-I), Kennerley AJ. £1.79M full fec (£120K to Sheffield)
  • 2013-2016       Biotechnology and biological sciences research council. Understanding neural excitation and inhibition: implications for the interpretation of extracellular field potentials and neurovascular coupling. Zheng Y (PI), Berwick J, Jones M, Billings S, Coca D, Milne E,  Redgrave P. ~£850K full fec
  • 2011-2014       Medical Research Council. The neurophysiological basis of negative BOLD signals – Berwick J (PI), Jones M, Kennerley A, Boorman L, Martin C, Redgrave P, Zheng Y. £655K full fec
  • 2011-2014       Wellcome Trust.  Understanding Epilepsy in the active brain - Berwick J (PI), Overton PG, Schwartz T, Kennerley A, Ma H, Zhao M. ~£519K full fec
  • 2009- 2012      EPSRC. "Engineering virus-like nanoparticles for targeting the central nervous system". G Battaglia (PI), S P. Armes, M. Azzouz, O. Bandmann, J. Berwick, P.G. Ince , A.J. Kennerley, M. Jones, R. Golestanian, R. Hose, R. Mead, K. Ning, A.J. Ryan, P. Shaw, R. Smallwood, D. Walker & Y. Zheng. £ 2,060,808;
  • 2007 – 2010    Medical Research Council New Investigator Award entitled ‘Neurovascular Coupling under the microscope’ – Principal Investigator £415K
Teaching activities

PSY1003: Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology

PSY2003: Neuroscience and Clinical Psychology II

PSY346: Psychology 3rd year dissertation project supervision

PSY331: Psychology 3rd year extended essay supervision

PSY6306: Fundamentals of Neuroscience

Research Project Supervision: MSc Cognitive Neuroscience and Human Neuroimaging, MSc Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, MSc Systems Neuroscience

Professional activities

Within the University

Assistant Faculty Director of Research and Innovation

Member of the Neuroscience Institute Executive Board

Member of University Senate Research and Innovation Committee

Member of the Departmental REF committee

Member of Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Body

Member of animal Procedures Assessment Advisory Committee

Outside of the University

Member of Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council panel A grant review body.

Member of the International Society of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism

Member of the Society for Neuroscience

I am a reviewer for high impact neuroscience journals which include: Nature Methods, eLife,, Journal of neuroscience, NeuroImage, Journal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism,  Journal of neuroscience methods, Frontiers in Neuroenergetics, Magnetic resonance in medicine, brain research bulletin, Cold Spring Harbour Protocols and Journal of biomedical optics.

I am a grant reviewer for national and international funding organisations including the Wellcome Trust,  MRC,  BBSRC, Physiological Society UK, Swiss National Science foundation, French National Research Agency, Astar Consortium in Singapore, Neurological foundation of New Zealand and the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research council.