COLLEGE OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH
Medicine, Nursing and Allied Health Professions

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 Jonathan Witton

Jonathan Witton

Lecturer in Neuroscience

 10392 72 7583

 Hatherly D.2

 

Hatherly Building, University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PS, UK

Overview

Dr Jon Witton is a neurophysiologist interested in how brain circuits support adaptive cognitive behaviours and how this is disrupted by neurodegenerative disease.

Jon graduated from the University of Manchester with a BSc (1st class) in Neuroscience. As part of his degree he spent a year working at the pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim in Germany. He then moved to the University of Bristol as a PhD student in the groups of Profs Andy Randall and Matt Jones, where he studied mechanisms of neuronal circuit dysfunction in Down syndrome and dementia. After completing his PhD, Jon remained in Bristol as an Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellow with Dr Mike Ashby, studying how functional and structural changes develop in brain circuits during tauopathy-associated dementia.

In 2019 Jon was appointed Lecturer at the University of Exeter

Qualifications

  • 2009, BSc (hons), University of Manchester
  • 204, PhD, Univesrity of Bristol

Grants/Funding:
 

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellowship (PI, £196k, 2016-2019)

  • MRC PhD studentship (Co-I, 90k, 2016-2020)

  • MRC PhD studentship (Co-I, 90k, 2019-2023)

  • BBSRC 18ALERT (Co-I; £223k; 2019-2022)

Research

Research interests

Our ability to learn and remember shapes our behaviour, enabling us to adapt to new environments and optimise our performance in situations that we have already experienced. Jon’s research focusses on understanding how neuronal networks enable this cognitive adaptation, and how this ability becomes disrupted in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

To do this, Jon and his colleagues employ a multilevel systems neuroscience approach, combining in vivo two-photon and micro-endoscopic brain imaging, in vivo extracellular and patch clamp electrophysiology and behavioural analysis to understand how cognitive information is processed in brain circuits across different spatial and temporal scales.

 

Research projects

Current Projects:

  • Dysfunctional synaptic and neuronal network encoding in tauopathy-associated dementia.

  • Relationship between synaptic dysfunction and degeneration in dementia.

  • Neuron-microglia interactions during neuronal network oscillations.

Publications

Key publications | Publications by category | Publications by year

Publications by category


Journal articles

Randall A, Jackson J, Witton J, Johnson J, Ahmed Z, Ward M, Hutton ML, Isaac JT, O'Neill MJ, Ashby MC, et al (In Press). Altered synapse stability in the early stages of tauopathy. Cell Reports-D-16-02088R2 Full text.
Booth CA, Witton J, Nowacki J, Tsaneva-Atanasova K, Jones MW, Randall AD, Brown JT (2016). Altered Intrinsic Pyramidal Neuron Properties and Pathway-Specific Synaptic Dysfunction Underlie Aberrant Hippocampal Network Function in a Mouse Model of Tauopathy. J Neurosci, 36(2), 350-363. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Witton J, Staniaszek L, Bartsch U, Randall AD, Jones MW, Brown JT (2015). Disrupted hippocampal sharp-wave ripple-associated spike dynamics in a transgenic mouse model of dementia. Journal of Physiology, In press Abstract.  Full text.
Witton J, Padmashri R, Zinyuk LE, Popov VI, Kraev I, Line SJ, Jensen TP, Tedoldi A, Cummings DM, Tybulewicz VLJ, et al (2015). Hippocampal circuit dysfunction in the Tc1 mouse model of Down syndrome. Nat Neurosci, 18(9), 1291-1298. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Rodríguez JJ, Noristani HN, Hilditch T, Olabarria M, Yeh CY, Witton J, Verkhratsky A (2013). Increased densities of resting and activated microglia in the dentate gyrus follow senile plaque formation in the CA1 subfield of the hippocampus in the triple transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurosci Lett, 552, 129-134. Abstract.  Author URL.
Forsyth LH, Witton J, Brown JT, Randall AD, Jones MW (2012). In Vitro and in Vivo Recording of Local Field Potential Oscillations in Mouse Hippocampus. Curr Protoc Mouse Biol, 2(3), 273-294. Abstract.  Author URL.
Witton J, Brown JT, Jones MW, Randall AD (2010). Altered synaptic plasticity in the mossy fibre pathway of transgenic mice expressing mutant amyloid precursor protein. Mol Brain, 3 Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Rodríguez JJ, Witton J, Olabarria M, Noristani HN, Verkhratsky A (2010). Increase in the density of resting microglia precedes neuritic plaque formation and microglial activation in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease. Cell Death Dis, 1 Abstract.  Author URL.
Randall AD, Witton J, Booth C, Hynes-Allen A, Brown JT (2010). The functional neurophysiology of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing pathway. Neuropharmacology, 59(4-5), 243-267. Abstract.  Author URL.

Publications by year


In Press

Randall A, Jackson J, Witton J, Johnson J, Ahmed Z, Ward M, Hutton ML, Isaac JT, O'Neill MJ, Ashby MC, et al (In Press). Altered synapse stability in the early stages of tauopathy. Cell Reports-D-16-02088R2 Full text.

2016

Booth CA, Witton J, Nowacki J, Tsaneva-Atanasova K, Jones MW, Randall AD, Brown JT (2016). Altered Intrinsic Pyramidal Neuron Properties and Pathway-Specific Synaptic Dysfunction Underlie Aberrant Hippocampal Network Function in a Mouse Model of Tauopathy. J Neurosci, 36(2), 350-363. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2015

Witton J, Staniaszek L, Bartsch U, Randall AD, Jones MW, Brown JT (2015). Disrupted hippocampal sharp-wave ripple-associated spike dynamics in a transgenic mouse model of dementia. Journal of Physiology, In press Abstract.  Full text.
Witton J, Padmashri R, Zinyuk LE, Popov VI, Kraev I, Line SJ, Jensen TP, Tedoldi A, Cummings DM, Tybulewicz VLJ, et al (2015). Hippocampal circuit dysfunction in the Tc1 mouse model of Down syndrome. Nat Neurosci, 18(9), 1291-1298. Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.

2013

Rodríguez JJ, Noristani HN, Hilditch T, Olabarria M, Yeh CY, Witton J, Verkhratsky A (2013). Increased densities of resting and activated microglia in the dentate gyrus follow senile plaque formation in the CA1 subfield of the hippocampus in the triple transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease. Neurosci Lett, 552, 129-134. Abstract.  Author URL.

2012

Forsyth LH, Witton J, Brown JT, Randall AD, Jones MW (2012). In Vitro and in Vivo Recording of Local Field Potential Oscillations in Mouse Hippocampus. Curr Protoc Mouse Biol, 2(3), 273-294. Abstract.  Author URL.

2010

Witton J, Brown JT, Jones MW, Randall AD (2010). Altered synaptic plasticity in the mossy fibre pathway of transgenic mice expressing mutant amyloid precursor protein. Mol Brain, 3 Abstract.  Author URL.  Full text.
Rodríguez JJ, Witton J, Olabarria M, Noristani HN, Verkhratsky A (2010). Increase in the density of resting microglia precedes neuritic plaque formation and microglial activation in a transgenic model of Alzheimer's disease. Cell Death Dis, 1 Abstract.  Author URL.
Randall AD, Witton J, Booth C, Hynes-Allen A, Brown JT (2010). The functional neurophysiology of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) processing pathway. Neuropharmacology, 59(4-5), 243-267. Abstract.  Author URL.

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External Engagement and Impact

Awards

  • Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Bridging Fellowship (2019)
  • Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellowship (2016-2019)
  • UoB-MRC Centenary Fellowship (2013-2014)

Invited lectures

  • Alzheimer’s Research UK
  • University College Cork
  • University of Edinburgh
  • University of Bristol

Media Coverage

Teaching

Teaching responsibilities: (Undergraduate, Postgraduate)

  • Coding for Medical Scientists (CSC2020): Lecturer
  • Neural Circuits (CSC2018): Lecturer
  • Foundations in Neuroscience (CSC2006): Facilitator
  • Principles in Medical Research (CSC2014): Small group facilitator
  • Academic Tutor: Year 1 BSc Neuroscience 

Supervision / Group

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