Professor Anthony Edward Pickering

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

  • BS8 1TD

1994 …2020

Research output per year

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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 laboratory studies the central control mechanisms regulating the discriminative and output 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 (involving 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.

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Research Output

  • 67 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 3 Chapter in a book
  • 2 Authored book
  • 1 Review article (Academic Journal)

Increased intrinsic excitability of muscle vasoconstrictor preganglionic neurons may contribute to the elevated sympathetic activity in hypertensive rats

Briant, L. J. B., Stalbovskiy, A. O., Nolan, M. F., Champneys, A. R. & Pickering, A. E., 1 Dec 2014, In : Journal of Neurophysiology. 112, 11, p. 2756-2778 23 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    373 Downloads (Pure)

    Endogenous analgesic action of the pontospinal noradrenergic system spatially restricts and temporally delays the progression of neuropathic pain following tibial nerve injury

    Hughes, S. W., Hickey, L., Hulse, R. P., Lumb, B. M. & Pickering, A. E., 1 Sep 2013, In : PAIN. 154, 9, p. 1680-1690 11 p., 3763373.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 56 Citations (Scopus)
    493 Downloads (Pure)


    • 3 Fellowship awarded competitively

    Senior Research Fellow in Clinical Science - Harnessing noradrenergic endogenous analgesia

    Anthony Edward Pickering (Recipient)

    1 Oct 20091 Jul 2015

    Activity: Other activity typesFellowship awarded competitively

    Wellcome Advanced Clinical Research fellowship

    Anthony Edward Pickering (Recipient)

    Aug 2004Jan 2009

    Activity: Other activity typesFellowship awarded competitively

    Wellcome Prize PhD Studentship

    Anthony Edward Pickering (Recipient)

    Aug 1988Jul 1991

    Activity: Other activity typesFellowship awarded competitively

    Supervised Work

    Glucose sensing and autonomic projections in Corticotrophin releasing neurons of the paraventricular hypothalamus

    Author: Simpson, A., 23 Jan 2019

    Supervisor: Pickering, A. E. (Supervisor) & Balthasar, N. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    Noradrenergic modulation of hippocampal CA1 and CA3 networks

    Author: Bacon, T. J., 24 Mar 2020

    Supervisor: Mellor, J. R. (Supervisor) & Pickering, A. E. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)

    Theoretical, electrophysiological and optogenetic interrogation of Locus Coeruleus contributions to cognition

    Author: Sales, A. C., 24 Mar 2020

    Supervisor: Pickering, A. E. (Supervisor), Jones, M. W. (Supervisor) & Moran, R. J. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)