Dr Chris Martin BA, PhD, FHEA

Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience and Psychobiology

Chris Martin Picture

The University of Sheffield
Sheffield S1 2LT, UK
Tel: (+44) 0114 222 6590
Email: C.Martin@sheffield.ac.uk
Room: G07

Twitter: @Science2Inspire

ORICID ID: 0000-0002-8186-784X

Research Group: Neurovascular and Neuroimaging Research Group


BA (Hons) Psychology (University of Sheffield), PhD Neuroscience (University of Sheffield), PgCert Higher Education (University of Sheffield).

Departmental Roles

  • MSc Systems Neuroscience Course Director
  • Director of Postgraduate Research Studies
  • Equality and Diversity Committee Member
  • Research Committee Member
  • Psychology Management Group Member

Research Interests

The main focus of my research is on the meaning of functional brain imaging signals: what do they tell us about brain activity and how might we best use this information to improve our understanding of normal brain function and neurological diseases? I use a range of in-vivo techniques in order to uncover the neurophysiological basis of neuroimaging signals and the mechanisms of neurovascular coupling that underlie them. I am also interested in science communication, in particular the communication of brain imaging research findings beyond academic audiences and the impact of this upon public understanding of neuroscience.

Current projects in my lab are focusing on:

  1. The roles of the neurotransmitters dopamine, serotonin and acetylcholine in modulating neuroimaging signals and neurovascular coupling.
  2. The neuronal and neurovascular effects of transcranial direct current stimulation.
  3. The impact of system inflammation on neurovascular coupling.


2015-2019 The University of Sheffield Interdisciplinary PhD Network Award. "Neuroimaging in Cardiovascular Disease (NICAD) Network". C Martin (PI), Department of Psychology / Department of Cardiovascular Science / Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience.

2015-2018 Medical Research Council Research Grant. "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 (FEC), 36 Months. 

2014-2017 Royal Society University Research Fellowship (Renewal) "Dopamine, Brain Imaging Signals, and Neurovascular Coupling." £341K, 36 Months.

2013 British Academy/Leverhulme Trust Small Research Grant “Improving cross-disciplinary research and practice in health psychology: What can neuroscience do for the design of behaviour change interventions to improve health? A systematic review."  J Martin (PI) & C Martin, £9899, 12 Months.

2011-2015 Wellcome Trust Research Grant. “Neuropharmacological modulation of functional brain imaging signals in awake and anaesthetized rats”. Chris Martin (PI), £257K, 36 Months.

2011-2016  MRC & BBSRC. “The neurophysiological basis of negative BOLD signals”. Berwick J (PI), Jones M, Kennerley A, Boorman L, Martin C, Redgrave P, Zheng Y., £655K, 36 Months.

2010 John Fell Fund Award. “Combining optogenetic modulation of neuronal activity with functional magnetic resonance imaging: establishing a new methodological resource for investigating CNS circuits.” Chris Martin (PI), N. Sibson, D. Bannerman, N. Rawlins and T. Sharp, £14K.

2010 John Fell Fund Award. “Early career researcher laboratory start-up support: funding request for equipment to establish functional MRI research in conscious rats”. Chris Martin (PI), £16K.

2010 Doctoral Training Centre Funding for DPhil student (Main Supervisor), jointly supervised with Mark Woolrich (FMRIB) and Jonathan Marchini (Statistics).

2009-2014 Royal Society University Research Fellowship. “Neuropharmacological modulation of functional brain imaging signals.” Chris Martin (PI), £641K, 60 Months.

2009 Young Scientist Travel Award (£2000) from the International Society for Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism to attend and present at the 2009 annual meeting in Chicago.

2005-2008 Medical Research Council Research Grant. “The neural and haemodynamic basis of the fMRI BOLD signal: An awake animal model for functional imaging research.” John Mayhew (PI), Chris Martin (application written by myself based on my PhD research). £240K, 36 Months.

2002 Department of Psychology Bursary (£500) to present research at Society for Neurosciences 2002 Conference (Orlando).

2000 Awarded Medical Research Council Studentship to fund PhD.

Research Staff

Dr Aisling Spain: Aisling’s research is funded by a Wellcome Trust Research Project Grant and focuses on how alterations in the functioning of the serotonin neurotransmitter system in the brain affect functional brain imaging signals and their relationship to neuronal activity.

Miss Elizabeth Kirkham: Lizzy's research is funded by the British Academy and investigates how neuroscience can improve the effectiveness of behaviour change interventions (with respect to both intervention design and evaluation) with a specific focus on interventions to tackle obesity. 

Postgraduate Students

Melissa Maczka: University of Oxford Doctoral Training Centre Student on the Life Sciences Interface Program. Melissa’s project involves developing new mathematical tools to help us understand what functional brain imaging signals tell us about the activity of neurons in the brain. Jointly supervised by Dr Jonathan Marchini (Statistics, University of Oxford) and Dr Mark Woolrich (Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford).

Gaia Brezzo: Department of Psychology PhD Teaching Fellowship. Gaia is investigating how neurodegenerative brain disease alters the relationship between neuronal activity and blood flow in the brain. This will improve our understanding of how to best use functional brain imaging tools in clinical populations as well as providing insights into the role of neurovascular mechanisms in disease progression.

Anka Gorgiev: South Eastern European Research Centre PhD Studentship in collaboration with The University of Sheffield and City College (International Faculty of The University of Sheffield), Thessolaniki, Greece. Anka's PhD in in the area of Neuromarketing and specifically addresses the issue of whether or not emerging technologies and theoretical developments in neuroscience are driving a 'paradigm shift' in marketing.


A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of publications please click here.

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers

  • Macaro G, Utili S & Martin CM (2015) DEM analyses of pipe-soil interaction for offshore pipelines on sand. Geomechanics from Micro to Macro - Proceedings of the TC105 ISSMGE International Symposium on Geomechanics from Micro to Macro, IS-Cambridge 2014, Vol. 1 (pp 595-600) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Dejardin T, Martin C, Ross L, Hart A, Knox A, Cumming D & Riehle M (2011) Designing a conduit for peripheral nerve regeneration. 24th European Conference on Biomaterials - Annual Conference of the European Society for Biomaterials RIS download Bibtex download
  • Vlahos G, Cassidy MJ & Martin CM (2008) Implementation of a force-resultant model describing spudcan load-displacement behaviour using an implicit integration scheme. Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference (pp 713-720) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Byrne BW, Schupp J, Martin CM, Oliphant J, Maconochie A & Cathie DN (2008) Experimental modeling of the unburial behaviour of pipelines. Offshore Technology Conference, Proceedings, Vol. 4 (pp 2475-2487) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Martin CM & Hazell ECJ (2005) Bearing capacity of parallel strip footings on non-homogeneous clay. Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics, ISFOG 2005 - Proceedings of the 1st International Symposium on Frontiers in Offshore Geotechnics (pp 427-433) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kelly RB, Byrne BW, Houlsby GT & Martin CM (2004) Tensile loading of model caisson foundations for structures on sand. Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference (pp 638-641) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Byrne BW, Villalobos F, Houlsby GT & Martin CM (2003) Laboratory testing of shallow skirted foundations in sand. BGA International Conference on Foundations, Innovations, Observations, Design and Practice (pp 161-173) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Kelly RB, Byrne BW, Houlsby GT & Martin CM (2003) Pressure chamber testing of model caisson foundations in sand. BGA International Conference on Foundations, Innovations, Observations, Design and Practice (pp 421-431) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Martin CM (2003) New software for rigorous bearing capacity calculations. BGA International Conference on Foundations, Innovations, Observations, Design and Practice (pp 581-592) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Pinna R, Martin CM & Ronalds BF (2001) Guidance for design of suction caissons against buckling during installation in clay soils. Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, Vol. 2 (pp 662-668) RIS download Bibtex download
  • Vlahos G, Martin CM & Cassidy MJ (2001) Experimental investigation of a model jack-up unit on clay. Proceedings of the International Offshore and Polar Engineering Conference, Vol. 1 (pp 97-105) RIS download Bibtex download