Dr Johnny Roughan
Staff Scientist

  • Email: johnny.roughan@ncl.ac.uk
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 3612
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 8688
  • Address: Comparative Biology Centre
    The Medical School
    University of Newcastle upon Tyne
    NE2 4HH

Background

I began my research career at Queen's University Belfast following completion of a degree in Zoology, with major emphasis on animal behaviour. In 1994 I completed a PhD in electrophysiology at Queen's. My early research on electrophysiological processes during anaesthesia led to a more general interest in veterinary anaesthesia. In 1994 I accepted the post of Research Associate at Newcastle University. The main emphasis of the work completed since joining the university has been on refinements to improve the welfare of laboratory animals.

Roles and Responsibilities

Responsible for research project design and statistics, supervision of undergraduate and co- or part-supervision of post-graduate and post-doctoral students. I also provide general guidance and training in research methodology and statistics training,and am involved in organising research group meeting and journal club, managing research grants, drafting research publication, editing and reviewing publications of other researchers in the group, and preparing grant submissions.

Qualifications

BSc, PhD

Previous Positions

Junior Research Associate
Research Associate
Senior Research Associate
Staff Scientist

Memberships

International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management
Internation Association for the Study of Pain

Honours and Awards

2007 Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations award for Laboratory Animal Science and Welfare

Languages

English, some French

Informal Interests

Golf, Fishing.

Research Interests

Developing methods for assessing and alleviating post-operative pain and distress in laboratory rats, mice, rabbits and other common species, and developing and implementing welfare refinements more generally. A main priority is developing educational materials so other researchers and interested parties have the most up to date information available on new methods to improve laboratory animal welfare standards. Developing new methods to address animal welfare issues, such as automatic behaviour analysis systems, that will speed progress on recognising signs of pain and distress and testing preventative treatments.

Other Expertise

Applying electrophysiological measurements in rodents to investigate the neurophysiological basis of sleep, anaesthesia, arousal and hyperarousal (seizures).

Current Work

Present research is focussed on determining whether mice undergoing neoplasia for cancer research experience pain, and if so, to establish how severe this is, and what methods can be implemented to prevent or alleviate it. I am evaluating a new computerised method to analyse the behaviour of mice; which if successful, has broad implications for improving upon our present abilities to make welfare advances in mice and rats.
Assessing rats'requirement for relief from post-operative pain via self-administration studied is another major aspect of my current research.

Future Research

Developing methods to assess subjective/affective state changes that pain causes in animals. Investigating use of these and other motivational changes in animals experiencing pain as objective tools to try to address the presently unknown issue of how animals in pain 'feel'. This will be by developing methods to assess changes in cognitive bias and affective state changes caused by pain. Other techniques that can be used to assess the subjective/affective properties of pain are self-assessment studies, where an animals motivation to obtain relief from pain can be a valuable too to gauge its intensity and duration.

Research Roles

Responsible for research project design and statistics, supervision of undergraduate and co- or part-supervision of post-graduate and post-doctoral students. I also provide general guidance and training in research methodology and statistics training,and am involved in organising research group meeting and journal club, managing research grants, drafting research publication, editing and reviewing publications of other researchers in the group, and preparing grant submissions.

Postgraduate Supervision

Neurophysiological bases of anaesthesia, pain and analgesia.
Pain assessment and allevition, and welfare advancement in animals.

Esteem Indicators

Invited speaker at 10 domestic and 11 international conferences:
Recipient of 2007 Federation of European Laboratory Animal Science Associations proze for animal welfare.

Keywords

Pain, Analgesia, Rat, Mouse, Mice, Rabbit, Anaesthesia, Meloxicam, Carprofen, Buprenorphine, Self-administration, Behaviour, Automated behaviour analysis

Undergraduate Teaching

Lecturer: Experimental design Module PED 301 (final year, Pharmacology).

Postgraduate Teaching

Lecturer Experimental design CBC’s Home Office Module 5.
Seminars and tutorials RCVS/Home Office course for new laboratory animal veterinarians
Seminars as part of CBC 2 day short course on animal pain assessment.