Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Sarah Judge

Lecturer in Pharmacology

Background


Lecturer in Pharmacology in the School of Biomedical Sciences


Additional responsibilities 

PhD / MRes supervisor


External activities

Member of the Committee on Toxicity of Chemicals in Food, Consumer Products and the Environment

Member of the British Toxicology Society Scientific Sub-Committee

Ambassador for the British Toxicology Society

Invited lecturer at University of Birmingham


Qualifications

Ph.D. Neuroscience
B.Sc. Hons. Zoology


Aurora Leadership Development Programme alumna (2018)


Previous Positions

Staff Scientist in the Medical Toxicology Centre, Newcastle University (2006-2019)

Wellcome Trust funded Research Associate, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University (2002-2006)

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.


Memberships

British Pharmacological Society

British Toxicology Society

International Neurotoxicology Association



Research

My main interests focus on understanding how chemicals interact with the brain and contribute to the development of neurodevelopmental, neurological and psychiatric disorders. 

My research questions began with clinical observations or epidemiological evidence that chemical exposure is associated with an adverse health effect.  We then investigated 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 investigated the effects of low levels of organophosphate pesticides on brain function using behavioural, neurochemical and electrophysiological technique to determine a mechanistic link.

Nerve agent exposure

We optimised an assay to assess for nerve agent exposure. 

Recreational drugs

Clinical observations indicate that the newer “legal highs” have mechanisms of action in addition to those that are known.  We investigated the effects of recreational drugs on brain function using neurotransmitter uptake and electrophysiological techniques.


Public engagement

An example is a 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!



Teaching

Module leader

PED3008: Advanced Topics in Neuropharmacology


Lecturer/ assessor / seminar leader

BMS3013: Diseases of the human nervous system

PED1002: Pharmacology

PED3008: Advanced Topics in Neuropharmacology

PED3011:Toxicology

PED3012: Integrated Pharmacology

Pharmacy


MRes assessor


Teaching administration

Member of the Pharmacology Curriculum Committee

Member of the Module Moderation Board

Personal tutor


 

 

 

 

Publications