Health Protection Research Unit - Neurotoxicity theme

An opportunity to influence research as a lay representative for the HPRU Neurotoxicity theme.

  • Tuesday 15th August 2017 17:00 (1 hour)
  • Public/Patient Representative
  • Influence

The date given above is the date to register your interest by and not the date of a meeting.

The Health Protection Research Unit (HPRU) at Newcastle University aims to investigate and identify chemical and radiation hazards that might have important effects on public health. The neurotoxicity theme is one of four HPRU research themes and is investigating chemicals that have (or might have) adverse effects on the function of the brain and nervous system, either after short term (acute) or long term exposure.

Current projects are investigating:

  • the effects of carbon monoxide on brain function with the aim of developing new and better tests for detecting carbon monoxide poisoning 
  • the numbers of people in the population who are exposed to household products containing pesticides and other related chemicals, characterising the severity of exposure an examining for evidence of adverse health effects
  • collecting clinical information and samples from patients experiencing severe adverse effects after use of new drugs of misuse, termed 'novel psychoactive substances' and previously sometimes referred to as 'legal highs' to characterise the symptoms that can occur with specific chemicals and help develop appropriate management in hospital
  • studying the effects of chemicals on specially derived human stem cells. These cells, termed induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), can be transformed into specific tissue types with all of the features found in the adult and provide, for example, the potential to develop liver cells in culture. Using these iPSC we can investigate the effects of any specific environmental exposure on how cells react.


The research theme are looking for a lay participant to provide advice about their research by attendance at regular theme meetings, which are also attended by the theme's research staff.

Volunteer Criteria

One enthusiastic and committed person is required, willing to attend and contribute to theme meetings that usually occur every 2 months.

The person should be committed to supporting public science engagement and should be able and confident to communicate clearly. An interest in science and especially medicine or biology would be desirable.

What will I be asked to do?

The participant will be asked to attend theme meetings that generally occur every 2 months, consider research being done (or proposed), suggest ways of improving communication with the wider public and help with preparing any information for the public. They will also be asked to advise on appropriate topics for future study and to support the design of future research projects.

When & where?

Meetings usually occur every 2 months and the project is expected to continue until the end of March 2019.

The meetings will take place in the Wolfson Building at Newcastle University.

Will I get anything for taking part?

 Reasonable travel expenses will be provided.


  • Wolfson Building
  • Newcastle University
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
  • NE2 4AA


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