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Dr Matt Parker

Senior Lecturer

Matt Parker


I am PI in the Brain and Behaviour Lab at Portsmouth, which I established in 2015, and research lead in the Zebrafish Research Facility. In my group we study the basis of compulsive behavioural disorders, and I have published more than 50 peer reviewed articles, chapters and scholarly reviews in this area. In our basic research, we use zebrafish as a model species try to understand the biology of compulsive disorders. In particular, we want to understand more about the interaction between molecular (genetic/epigenetic) and environmental (e.g., alcohol, stress) factors that cause compulsive behaviours, and the associated neural circuits, to manifest. Our approach is theoretically guided by the principles of precision medicine, i.e., that understanding the biology of neuropsychiatric conditions will help develop individualised treatments for patients. We also carry out preclinical/translational research in humans, in particular looking at the interactions of impulsivity, risk-taking (personality) and (environmental) stress on alcohol use and misuse. We apply our findings outside of the laboratory to explore questions relating to compulsive disorders; in particular, stereotypic behaviours in domestic, farm and laboratory animals. 

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