Professor Anthony Edward Pickering

B.Sc., Ph.D., MB ChB (Birm), F.R.C.A.

  • BS8 1TD

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Personal profile

Research interests

As an anaesthetist and pain clinician I am naturally interested in sensory and autonomic neuroscience.  The nervous system has evolved sophisticated means to monitor and respond to changes in both the internal and external environment and these homeostatic processes are critical for health and survival of the organism. My research group studies the central control mechanisms regulating the responses to natural stimuli.

We focus on how the sensory and autonomic systems exhibit plastic changes in pathological conditions such as in chronic pain states (control of central sensitisation) and hypertension (altered autonomic rhythmogenesis). For these conditions to persist there is a failure or limitation in the normal central neural compensatory mechanisms, many of which share overlapping circuitry within the brainstem. 

The current focus of much of our work is upon central neuromodulator systems that regulate pain perception including noradrenaline and opioids.  Our group uses both cellular and systems neuroscience approaches (patch clamp recording, viral vectors, optogenetics, in vivo/in situ electrophysiology and behavioural testing) along with complementary clinical investigations (clinical trials involving drug studies, quantitative sensory testing and human imaging).

The overall goal of our work is to provide a better understanding of these neural dysfunctions, which may be either primary or permissive factors in diseases, with a view to identifying novel treatment targets.

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • Anaesthesia Pain and Critical Care


  • Neuroscience
  • Pain
  • Autonomic
  • Sympathetic
  • Noradrenaline
  • Analgesia
  • Anaesthesia


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