Dr Sarah Judge
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 7016
- Fax: +44 (0) 191 208 5227
- Address: Medical Toxicology Centre
Newcastle upon Tyne
Member of the Animal Welfare and Ethical Review Board (2012-2016)
Member of the Pharmacology Curriculum Committee
Lecturer / assessor / seminar leader
PhD / MRes supervisor
B.Sc. Hons. Zoology
Wellcome Trust funded Research Associate, School of Neurology, Neurobiology and Psychiatry, University of Newcastle(2002-2005)
NIH funded Research Associate, Department of Psychology, Boston University, USA (2000-2002)
Honours and Awards
Fellowship award from the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology in 2005.
Organon Prize for the best paper in Journal of Psychopharmacology in 2005.
British Toxicology Society
International Neurotoxicology Association
Ambassador for the British Toxicology Society
Member of the British Toxicology Society Scientific Sub-Committee
I am interested in understanding how chemicals interact with the brain and contribute to the development of neurological and psychiatric disorders.
Early career in psychopharmacology
Investigated how hormone level changes could contribute to the development of mood disorders such as depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. We found that stress hormones and sex hormones could alter the function of the 5-HT (serotonin) system, which is important in modulating our moods.
Neurotoxicology at the Medical Toxicology Centre
My research questions begin with clinical observations or epidemiological evidence that chemical exposure is associated with an adverse health effect. We then investigate how that chemical can affect the brain leading to that particular health effect, providing a mechanistic link.
Low level pesticide exposure
There is epidemiological evidence that low level exposure to pesticides can lead to symptoms associated with psychiatric disorders. We are investigating the effects of low levels of pesticides on brain function using behavioural, neurochemical and electrophysiological techniques.
We are currently collecting information about pesticides people use in their homes to inform future studies on pesticide exposure. Please complete our on-line survey.
The survey can take up to 1 hour depending on how many chemicals you use, but this detailed information will provide us with the most accurate picture of which combinations of pesticides people are using.
Clinical observations indicate that the newer “legal highs” have mechanisms of action in addition to those that are known. We are investigating the effects of recreational drugs on brain function using neurotransmitter uptake and electrophysiological techniques.
Case reports indicated that the neurotoxic effects of the toxin, domoic acid, found in mussels and other shellfish, were worse in men than women. We demonstrated that the magnitude of the effect was not different between males and females, but the onset was earlier in females.
The sting of the lesser weever fish, found in the North Sea, can cause acute and intense pain. In collaboration with Dr Caldwell in the School of Marine Science and Technology we are investigating the toxic mechanisms of their venom.
We’re always keen to discuss our work with the public. One example is our recent partnership with a team of senior school pupils through the leading edge engagement programme. The pupils told me they were interested in examining the effects of chemicals found in soft drinks they consume. Under my supervision they developed and conducted their own experiment to test the ingredients. They found that some of the chemicals can affect motor activity. Their data and the partnership experience were published in a peer-reviewed scientific paper with the pupils as authors!
Current lab members
BMS3013: Diseases of the human nervous system
CMB3000: BSc Biosciences Research Project
PED3008: Advanced Topics in Neuropharmacology
Member of the Pharmacology Curriculum Committee
- Judge SJ, Delgaty L, Broughton M, Dyter L, Grimes C, Metcalf J, Nicholson R, Pennock E, Jankowski K. Behaviour-changing ingredients in soft drinks: An experiment developed by school children in partnership with a research scientist. Journal of Biological Education 2017, 51(1), 79-96.
- Drummond J, Williamson SM, Fitchett AE, Wright GA, Judge SJ. Spontaneous honeybee behaviour is altered by persistent organic pollutants. Ecotoxicology 2017, 26(1), 141-150.
- Judge SJ, Savy CY, Campbell M, Dodds R, Gomes LK, Laws G, Watson A, Blain PG, Morris CM, Gartside SE. Mechanism for the acute effects of organophosphate pesticides on the adult 5-HT system. Chemico-Biological Interactions 2016, 245, 82-89.
- Savy CY, Fitchett AE, McQuade R, Gartside SE, Morris CM, Blain PG, Judge SJ. Low-level repeated exposure to diazinon and chlorpyrifos decrease anxiety-like behaviour in adult male rats as assessed by marble burying behaviour. Neurotoxicology 2015, 50, 149-156.
- Baron AW, Rushton SP, Rens N, Morris CM, Blain PG, Judge SJ. Sex differences in effects of low level domoic acid exposure. NeuroToxicology 2013, 34, 1-8.
- Fitchett AE, Judge SJ, Morris CM. Using olive oil to orally dose laboratory rats. Animal Technology and Welfare 2012, 10(1), 39-41.
- Keane PC, Judge SJ, Blain PG, Morris CM. An investigation into the mechanism of trichloroethylene neurotoxicity in relation to Parkinsonism. In: Annual Congress of The British Toxicology Society. 2011, Durham: Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
- Savy CY, Morris CM, Blain PG, Judge SJ. Behavioural effects of low level exposure to organophosphate pesticides. Toxicology 2011, 290(2-3), 116.
- Baron AW, Steeg R, Morris CM, Blain PG, Judge SJ. Motor activity is a sensitive behavioural biomarker of low level exposure to the shellfish toxin, domoic acid, in male and female rats. In: Toxicology: Annual Congress of The British Toxicology Society. 2011, Durham, UK: Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
- Kaura V, Ingram CD, Gartside SE, Young AH, Judge SJ. The progesterone metabolite allopregnanolone potentiates GABAA receptor-mediated inhibition of 5-HT neuronal activity. European Neuropsychopharmacology 2007, 17(2), 108-115.
- Judge SJ, Gartside SE. Firing of 5-HT neurones in the dorsal and median raphe nucleus in vitro shows differential α1-adrenoceptor and 5-HT1A receptor modulation. Neurochemistry International 2006, 48(2), 100-107.
- Judge SJ, Young RL, Gartside SE. GABAA receptor modulation of 5-HT neuronal firing in the median raphe nucleus: Implications for the action of anxiolytics. European Neuropsychopharmacology 2006, 16(8), 612-619.
- Judge SJ, Ingram CD, Gartside SE. GABA receptor modulation of 5-HT neuronal firing and its sensitivity to circulating corticosterone. In: International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology: 24th CINP Congress. 2004, Paris, France: Cambridge University Press.
- Judge SJ, Ingram CD, Gartside SE. GABA receptor modulation of 5-HT neuronal firing: characterization and effect of moderate in vivo variations in glucocorticoid levels. Neurochemistry International 2004, 45(7), 1057-1065.
- Judge SJ, Ingram CD, Gartside SE. Moderate differences in circulating corticosterone alter receptor-mediated regulation of 5-hydroxytryptamine neuronal activity. Journal of Psychopharmacology 2004, 18(4), 475-483.
- Judge SJ, Hasselmo ME. Theta Rhythmic Stimulation of Stratum Lacunosum-Moleculare in Rat Hippocampus Contributes to Associative LTP at a Phase Offset in Stratum Radiatum. Journal of Neurophysiology 2004, 92(3), 1615-1624.
- Judge SJ, Ingram CD, Gartside SE. Changes in glucocorticoid levels within the diurnal range alter alpha(1)-adrenoceptor and 5-HT1A receptor modulation of 5-HT neuronal firing. In: European Neuropsychopharmacology: 16th Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003, Prague, Czech Republic: Elsevier BV.
- Johnson D, Judge SJ, Gartside SE, Ingram CD. The effects of dopamine on dorsal raphe 5-HT neuronal firing: In vitro electrophysiological studies. In: European Neuropsychopharmacology: 16th Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2003, Prague, Czech Republic: Elsevier BV.
- Judge S, Leitch B. GABA Immunoreactivity in Processes Presynaptic to the Locust Wing Stretch Receptor Neuron. Journal of Comparative Neurology 1999, 407(1), 103-114.
- Judge S, Leitch B. Modulation of transmitter release from the locust forewing stretch receptor neuron by GABAergic interneurons activated via muscarinic receptors. Journal of Neurobiology 1999, 40(3), 420-431.
- Judge S and Rind F. The locust DCMD, a movement-detecting neurone tightly tuned to collision trajectories. Journal of Experimental Biology 1997, 200(16), 2209-2216.