Dr Mark Cunningham
- Email: email@example.com
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8935
- Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 5227
- Address: Institute of Neuroscience,
The Medical School,
University of Newcastle upon Tyne.
Roles and Responsibilities
RCUK Academic Fellow
Honorary Clinical Research Fellow in Neurophysiology
B.Sc. (Hons) Queen's University Belfast
Ph.D. Bristol University
Research Assistant (2000-2001) Bristol University
Post-doctoral research fellow (2001-2005) University of Leeds
British Neuroscience Association
The Physiological Society
Society for Neuroscience
What is the basis of neurological and psychiatric disease at the level of the neuronal microcircuit? Can
understanding alterations in this framework aid in the development of novel therapeutic approaches?
These are the over-arching questions that drive the research conducted in my laboratory.
In attempting to address these issues we utilise the ability to record temporally organised oscillating
patterns of population electrical activity in neuronal networks. This activity, also known as the local field
potential (LFP), underlies the electroencephalogram (EEG), and therefore can be viewed a translational
tool spanning both basic and clinical neuroscience.
The ability of the oscillatory activity of groups of neurons to synchronise represents a means by which
various regions of the brain communicate with one another. It is becoming clear that in neuropsychiatric
disease states, disruption of synchrony and/or power for particular frequency bands may underlie aspects
of dysfunction associated with these disorders. In particular, disturbances in particular frequency bands of
these oscillations have emerged as a candidate to explain specific abnormalities observed in these patient
What are the mechanistic features underlying deficits in particular types of neuronal oscillatory activity?
Using a combination of electrophysiological, behavioural and neuroanatomical approaches our aim is to
understand at the synaptic, cellular and network dimension how alterations at various levels translate to
the phenotypic level.
Dr Fiona Randall
Dr Roger Whittaker
Dr Matthew Ainsworth
Dr Stephen Hall
Dr Lucy Carracedo
Miss Katherine Newling
Miss Georgia Collins
Dr Anais Thouin
Mr Felix Chan
Mr Bonne Haberkost
Previous support from:
Royal Society Research Grant
Newcastle upon Tyne NHS Trust Special Trustees Fund
Lena Teague Bequest Fund
The Wolfson Foundation
Dr Hadwen Trust for Humane Research
Current support from:
TSB/MRC Biomedical Catalyst Award (with Autifony Therapeutics Ltd)
Wellcome Trust/EPSRC Innovative Engineering for Health (CANDO project)
BMS 2011 The Nervous System and Respiratory Diseases
BMS 3013 Diseases of the Human Nervous system (Module Leader)
- Lax NZ, Grady J, Laude A, Chan F, Hepplewhite PD, Gorman G, Whittaker RG, Ng Y, Cunningham MO, Turnbull DM. Extensive respiratory chain defects in inhibitory interneurones in patients with mitochondrial disease. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 2016, 42(2), 180-193.
- Jones RS, daSilva AB, Whittaker RG, Woodhall GL, Cunningham MO. Human brain slices for epilepsy research: Pitfalls, solutions and future challenges. Journal of Neuroscience Methods 2016, 260, 221-232.
- Chan F, Lax NZ, Davies CH, Turnbull DM, Cunningham MO. Neuronal oscillations: a physiological correlate for targeting mitochondrial dysfunction in neurodegenerative diseases?. Neuropharmacology 2016, 102, 48-58.
- Whittaker RG, Devine HE, Gorman GS, Schaefer AM, Horvath R, Ng Y, Nesbitt V, Lax NZ, McFarland R, Cunningham MO, Taylor RW, Turnbull DM. Epilepsy in Adults With Mitochondrial Disease: A Cohort Study. Annals of Neurology 2015, 78(6), 949-957.
- Tsintsadze V, Minlebaev M, Suchkov D, Cunningham MO, Khazipov R. Ontogeny of kainate-induced gamma oscillations in the rat CA3 hippocampus in vitro. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 2015, 9, 195.
- Alfonsa H, Merricks EM, Codadu NK, Cunningham MO, Deisseroth K, Racca C, Trevelyan AJ. The Contribution of Raised Intraneuronal Chloride to Epileptic Network Activity. Journal of Neuroscience 2015, 35(20), 7715-7726.
- Tomsett RJ, Ainsworth M, Thiele A, Sanayei M, Chen X, Gieselmann MA, Whittington MA, Cunningham MO, Kaiser M. Virtual Electrode Recording Tool for EXtracellular potentials (VERTEX): comparing multi-electrode recordings from simulated and biological mammalian cortical tissue. Brain Structure and Function 2015, 220(4), 2333-2353.
- Simon A, Traub RD, Vladimirov N, Jenkins A, Nicholson C, Whittaker RG, Schofield I, Clowry GJ, Cunningham MO, Whittington MA. Gap junction networks can generate both ripple-like and fast ripple-like oscillations. European Journal of Neuroscience 2014, 39(1), 46-60.
- Cowie CJA, Cunningham MO. Peritumoral epilepsy: Relating form and function for surgical success. Epilepsy & Behavior 2014, 38, 53-61.
- Traub RD, Cunningham MO, Whittington MA. What Is a Seizure Network? Very Fast Oscillations at the Interface Between Normal and Epileptic Brain. Issues in Clinical Epileptology: A View from the Bench Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2014, 813, 71-80.
- Carracedo LM, Kjeldsen H, Cunnington L, Jenkins A, Schofield I, Cunningham MO, Davies CH, Traub RD, Whittington MA. A Neocortical Delta Rhythm Facilitates Reciprocal Interlaminar Interactions via Nested Theta Rhythms. Journal of Neuroscience 2013, 33(26), 10750-10761.
- Sedley W, Cunningham MO. Do cortical gamma oscillations promote or suppress perception? An under-asked question with an over-assumed answer. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 2013, 7, 595.
- Anitema B, Hall S, Ahuja N, Preston S, Keown P, McKinnon I, Baker M, Hart Y, Cunningham M, Watson S. A pilot study of anti-NMDA receptor antibodies in psychosis. In: International Congress of the Royal College of Psychiatrists - Psychiatry: medicine and the future. 2012, Liverpool, UK: Royal College of Psychiatrists.
- Thouin A, Bera K, Vincent A, Cunningham MO. Anti-NMDA receptor antibodies disrupt cortical network activity in vitro. In: Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry: Association of British Neurologists Annual Meeting. 2012, Gateshead, UK: BMJ Group.
- Cunningham MO, Roopun A, Schofield IS, Whittaker RG, Duncan R, Russell A, Jenkins A, Nicholson C, Whittington MA, Traub RD. Glissandi: transient fast electrocorticographic oscillations of steadily increasing frequency, explained by temporally increasing gap junction conductance. Epilepsia 2012, 53(7), 1205-1214.
- Ainsworth M, Lee S, Cunningham MO, Traub RD, Kopell NJ, Whittington MA. Rates and Rhythms: A Synergistic View of Frequency and Temporal Coding in Neuronal Networks. Neuron 2012, 75(4), 572-583.
- Traub RD, Cunningham MO, Whittington MA. Chemical synaptic and gap junctional interactions between principal neurons: Partners in epileptogenesis. Neural Networks 2011, 24(6), 515-525.
- Ainsworth M, Lee S, Cunningham MO, Roopun AK, Traub RD, Kopell NJ, Whittington MA. Dual Gamma Rhythm Generators Control Interlaminar Synchrony in Auditory Cortex. Journal of Neuroscience 2011, 31(47), 17040-17051.
- Randall FE, Whittington MA, Cunningham MO. Fast oscillatory activity induced by kainate receptor activation in the rat basolateral amygdala in vitro. European Journal of Neuroscience 2011, 33(5), 914-922.
- Whittaker RG, Turnbull DM, Whittington MA, Cunningham MO. Impaired mitochondrial function abolishes gamma oscillations in the hippocampus through an effect on fast-spiking interneurons. Brain 2011, 134(7), e180.
- Cunningham MO, Chinnery PF. Mitochondria and cortical gamma oscillations: food for thought?. Brain 2011, 134(2), 330-332.
- Cunningham MO. The role of glutamate in cortical gamma oscillatory behaviour: Translational approaches in vitro. In: Journal of Psychopharmacology: Summer Meeting of the British Association for Psychopharmacology. 2011, Harrogate: Sage Publications Ltd.
- Roopun AK, Simonotto JD, Pierce ML, Jenkins A, Nicholson C, Schofield IS, Whittaker RG, Kaiser M, Whittington MA, Traub RD, Cunningham MO. A nonsynaptic mechanism underlying interictal discharges in human epileptic neocortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2010, 107(1), 338-343.
- Roopun AK, LeBeau FEN, Rammell J, Cunningham MO, Traub RD, Whittington MA. Cholinergic neuromodulation controls directed temporal communication in neocortex in vitro. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 2010, 4(1), 8.
- Fuchs EC, Zivkovic AR, Cunningham MO, Middleton S, Le Beau FEN, Bannerman DM, Rozov A, Whittington MA, Traub RD, Rawlins JNP, Monyer H. Recruitment of Parvalbumin-Positive Interneurons Determines Hippocampal Function and Associated Behavior. Neuron 2007, 53(4), 591-604.
- Cunningham MO, Pervouchine DD, Racca C, Kopell NJ, Davies CH, Jones RSG, Traub RD, Whittington MA. Neuronal metabolism governs cortical network response state. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2006, 103(14), 5597-5601.
- Cunningham MO, Hunt J, Middleton S, Le Beau FEN, Gillies MG, Davies CH, Maycox PR, Whittington MA, Racca C. Region-specific reduction in entorhinal gamma oscillations and parvalbumin-immunoreactive neurons in animal models of psychiatric illness. Journal of Neuroscience 2006, 26(10), 2767-2776.
- Traub RD, Bibbig A, Le Beau FE, Cunningham MO, Whittington MA. Persistent gamma oscillations in superficial layers of rat auditory neocortex: experiment and model. Journal of Physiology 2005, 562(1), 3-8.
- Traub RD, Contreras D, Cunningham MO, Murray H, Le Beau FEN, Roopun A, Bibbig A, Wilent WB, Higley MJ, Whittington MA. Single-Column Thalamocortical Network Model Exhibiting Gamma Oscillations, Sleep Spindles, and Epileptogenic Bursts. Journal of Neurophysiology 2005, 93(4), 2194-2232.
- Cunningham MO, Whittington MA, Bibbig A, Roopun A, Le Beau FE, Vogt A, Monyer H, Buhl EH, Traub RD. A role for fast rhythmic bursting neurons in cortical gamma oscillations in vitro. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2004, 101(18), 7152-7157.
- Cunningham MO, Halliday DM, Davies CH, Traub RD, Buhl EH, Whittington MA. Coexistence of gamma and high-frequency oscillations in rat medial entorhinal cortex in vitro. The Journal of Physiology 2004, 559(2), 347-353.
- Cunningham MO, Woodhall GL, Thompson SE, Dooley DJ, Jones RS. Dual effects of gabapentin and pregabalin on glutamate release at rat entorhinal synapses in vitro. European Journal of Neuroscience 2004, 20(6), 1566-1576.
- Traub RD, Cunningham MO, Gloveli T, LeBeau FE, Bibbig A, Buhl EH, Whittington MA. GABA-enhanced collective behavior in neuronal axons underlies persistent gamma-frequency oscillations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2003, 100(19), 11047-11052.
- Cunningham MO, Davies CH, Buhl EH, Kopell N, Whittington MA. Gamma Oscillations Induced by Kainate Receptor Activation in the Entorhinal Cortex In Vitro. Journal of Neuroscience 2003, 23(30), 9761-9769.
- Cunningham MO, Woodhall GL, Jones RS. Valproate modifies spontaneous excitation and inhibition at cortical synapses in vitro. Neuropharmacology 2003, 45(7), 907-917.