Dr Allison J Fulford

B.Sc.(C.N.A.A.), Ph.D.(Nott.)

  • BS2 8EJ


Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests lie with the body's normal response to stress and also how chronic stress may  predispose to psychiatric conditions. A further interest involves how the stress response adapts during early development. I have characterised the role of early environmental factors on the function of central monoamine neurotransmitters and associated behaviours. 

Further work is addressing the roles played by neuropeptides in stress neurobiology. Nociceptin is an opioid-like peptide that stimulates the GPCR NOP, which is widely distributed in the brain and peripheral immune system. My research has investigated the role of nociceptin in the mammalian stress response, including regulation of basal and stress-induced HPA axis activity including inflammatory responses.  


I am the Programme Director for the Gateway Programmes in Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science which are widening participation initiatives at the University of Bristol to increase access to the clinical professional courses. I am also the Unit Lead for the Foundations in Bioscience units of the Gateway programme.

My special interests are in nervous, endocrine and reproductive systems and I deliver teaching on the functional anatomy of these systems to the MBChB programme (year 1) and BSc Applied Anatomy (year 1). I also contribute to the teaching of the intercalated BSc in Functional and Clinical Anatomy, BVSc programme and postgraduate taught courses; MSc Reproduction and Development and the MSc Molecular Neuroscience. In addition, I am the Senior Tutor for the iBSc Functional and Clinical Anatomy programme.

I am the Faculty of Health Sciences Research Ethics Officer and co-chair the Research Ethics Committee.

External positions

External Examiner, University of Leicester

1 Sep 201731 Aug 2022

External Examiner, University of Manchester

1 Sep 201631 Aug 2020

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Research Output

  • 7 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 6 Chapter in a book
  • 5 Conference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Limbic circuit connectivity and the stress response: New insights into the mammalian nociceptin peptide system

Fulford, A. & Keskes, S., 24 Jun 2019, (Accepted/In press) Vitamins and Hormones: Opioids. Litwack, G. (ed.). Amsterdam:Elsevier, Vol. 111. p. 131-145

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book


Mitchell, H., Alder, D. & Fulford, A., Nov 2015, Developing Excellence in Medical Education Conference (proceedings, Manchester). Vol. Nov.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)

Endogenous nociceptin system involvement in stress responses and anxiety behavior

Fulford, A., 2015, Vitamins and Hormones: Nociceptin Opioid. Amsterdam:Elsevier, Vol. 97. p. 267-93 (Vitamins and Hormones).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter in a book