Faculty of Medical Sciences

Staff Profile

Dr Christopher Morris

Senior Lecturer

Background

Introduction

I am a member of the Medical Toxicology Centre ( www.ncl.ac.uk/mtc/ ) at the Wolfson Building where I am also a member of the NIHR HPRU in Chemical and Radiation Threats and Hazards.

At the Campus for Ageing and Vitality I am Scientific Director of the Newcastle Brain Tissue Resource and also a member of the Dementia and Neurodegenerative Diseases Group (http://www.ncl.ac.uk/medicalsciences/research/groups/dementia/#overview).

Roles and Responsibilities

Designated Individual, Newcastle University Human Tissue Authority Research Licence

Chair, Institute of Neuroscience GM Safety Committee
Biological Safety Advisor, Campus for Ageing and Vitality Research Laboratories

Advisory Committee on Pesticides, Member (2012-2015)

Expert Committee on Pesticides (2016-date)

Member of the Advisory Committee on Pesticides Medical and Toxicology Panel (2012-2015)

Qualifications 

BSc(Hons)
PhD

Previous Positions

Medical Research Council Staff Scientist, MRC Neurochemical Pathology Unit, 1987-1999
Medical Reearch Council External Staff Scientist, MRC/University of Newcastle Centre Development in Clinical Brain Ageing, 2000-2005

Visiting Researcher, National Institutes of Genome Research/National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland USA, 2004

Health Protection Agency, Scientist, Chemical Hazards and Poisons Division, 2005-2006 

Memberships

British Toxicology Society

 


Research

My research focuses on the mechanisms that cause specific symptoms experienced by patients with different neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies and Parkinson's disease. We use brain tissue from well characterised donors and a variety of experimental approaches to investigate symptoms such as visual hallucinations, depression, anxiety, and memory problems. Our approach involves quantitative neuropathological investigation to determine if specific cell loss or pathology underpins symptoms and also molecular approaches including RNAseq, protein methods and genetic analysis to build an understanding of the different disorders to identify specific treatments.

My research also looks at how specific toxins might affect the nervous system and how they might contribute to late onset neurodegeneration. We are interested in how environmental chemicals, man made or natural, contribute to specific disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Understanding the mode of action of these chemicals may provide us with evidence of how the different neurodegenerative disorders occur. We have a specific interest in the role of carbon monoxide as a contributor to long term motor and memory problems.

Funding

"Molecular Mechanisms Underlying Visual Hallucinations in Dementia with Lewy Bodies" funding from the Alzheimer's Society June 2013-December 2015.

"Utility of Mitochondrial Complex IV Analysis as a Biomarker of Carbon Monoxide Exposure" funding from the Gas Safety Trust June 2016-March 2017


 

Teaching

Undergraduate Teaching

Biomedical Sciences BMS306 Diseases of the Nervous System

Biomedical Science BMS3017 Clinical Ageing and Health

Postgraduate Teaching

MRCPsych Course

MRes in Medical and Molecular Biosciences  Research Skills and Principles for the Biosciences MMB8100

MRes in Medical and Molecular Biosciences, Genetic Basis of Common (Complex) Disease MMB8014

MRes in Medical and Molecular Biosciences, Toxicology  MMB8032

 

Publications