Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Gavin Clowry

Senior Lecturer


I am active in both research and teaching; supervising and conducting research into the development, plasticity and repair of the nervous system, and teaching anatomy, neuroanatomy and stem cell biology to both post-graduates and undergraduates. 

  •  MA University of Oxford
  •  DPhil University of Oxford
  •  Associate Research Fellow, Department of Pharmacology, University of Oxford
  •  Associate Research Fellow, Dept. of Anatomy and Developmental Biology, University College London
  •  Lecturer, Department of Child Health, Newcastle University
  •  Senior Lecturer, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University

 Area of expertiseNeuroscience, Anatomy, Developmental Biology

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Research Interests

Development, plasticity and repair of the nervous system, particularly the sensorimotor system. Molecular neuroanatomical approaches including neural tracing, immunohistochemistry and gene expression profiling.

Current Work

1) Characterisation of the development of the human corticospinal tract and development of the human cortex including the emergence of a functioning motor cortex; understanding what guides the differentation of progenitor cells into corticospinal neurons and interneurons in the human fetal brain. 

2) Studying expression of schizophrenia susceptibility genes in the early fetal human thalamus and cerebral cortex. 

3) exploring cortical interneuron function and mitochondrial deficits in mouse transgenic models of senile dementia.

4) Understanding the plasticity of the corticospinal  and reticulospinal systems in response to lesions and ageing in animal models. 

Postgraduate Supervision

Currently co-supervising one PhD student; Abdullah Ben Awadh and 2 MRes students, Niveditha Sankar and Caoimhe McCrory. Four PhD students have recently successfully completed their studies: Reem Basuodan, Ayman Alzu'bi and Clare Tweedy in 2018 and Lauren Harkin in 2017 . In total I have supervised or co-supervised 16 PhD students to completion. 

Recent Esteem Indicators

Elected Council Member and Research Officer of the Anatomical Society.

Invited keynote speaker, Sheffield Neurological Society meeting "Brain in Flux", March 2019.

 Co-organiser and speaker, symposium on "Human Cerebral Cortex Development",  part of the Summer Meeting of the Anatomical Society in Oxford, 2018.

Co-organiser of the first UK sensorimotor meeting, Newcastle University May 2016.

Invited speaker at international symposium: "Understanding nerve-muscle interactions in health and disease", Warsaw, September 2015. 

Invited speaker: European Academy of Childhood Disability annual meeting, Copenhagen, May 2015.

Invited participant: The Company of Biologists international workshop " Evolution of he human neocortex: how unique are we?" Worthing, September, 2013.

Research Topic Editor, Frontiers in Neurology, "Improving outcomes in cerebral palsy with early interventions; new translational approaches" now published as an ebook.

Guest Editor of the Journal Of Anatomy symposium issue 2010: "Development of the Human Neocortex" and part issue for mini-symposium 2015: "GABAergic neurotransmission in the human cerebral cortex". 

Member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Journal of Anatomy, Translational Neuroscience.

Associate Editor, BMC Neuroscience; Review Editor, Frontiers in Neuroanatomy.

Ad hoc reviewer for many journals including Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, Cerebral Cortex and Journal of Neuroscience, (see

and for the MRC, BBSRC, Wellcome Trust, European Research Council, Croatian Science Foundation, Action Medical Research, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Our publication 'Ip BK, Wappler I, Peters H, Lindsay S, Clowry GJ, Bayatti N (2010) Investigating gradients of gene expression involved in early human cortical development. Journal of Anatomy 217: 300-311' was awarded a prize for best paper in the Journal of Anatomy 2010.


Co-holder of a £2 million grant from Wellcome Trust/MRC to fund the Human Developmental Biology Resource and holder of grant from Kavli Foundation to provide tissue for single cell atlas of developing brain. Collaboration with James Bourne (Monash) on thalamus development and schizophrenia funded by Newcastle/Monash.

Previously funding includes co-holding of programme grants from the Wellcome Trust, also Clare Tweedy was supported by an MRC/CASE studentship, and I have had awards from the Anatomical Society, Children's Foundation, Newcastle University Hospitals Special Trustees, Motor Neuron Disease Association and Alkor Biotech for an industrial/academic collaborative project.



Undergraduate Teaching

  • MBBS stage2  Functional anatomy of the upper limb; repair and regeneration in the peripheral nervous system
  • Biomedical Sciences stage 2. Neuroanatomy lecture
  • Biomedical Sciences stage 3. Research project supervision.
  • Pharmacology stage 3. Neuroanatomy lecture, practical and tutorial. 
  • Physiology stage 3. Neuroanatomy practical.
  • Psychology stage 3. Neuroanatomy practical.
  • Developmental Genetics stage 3. Lecturer

Postgraduate Teaching

  • PhD/MPhil supervision
  • MRes deputy programme director (projects) and MRes Neuroscience theme lead 
  • MRes neuroanatomy (practical)
  • MRes Anatomy (upper limb practical)
  • MRes Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (Lecturer)
  • MRes Developmental Genetics (Lecturer)
  • MRes research project supervision
  • Anatomy teaching in training courses for doctors and allied health professionals 
  • External examiner for Sheffield University, MSc in Translational Neuroscience 2012-2015.