Lecturer in Neuroscience
10392 72 7583
Hatherly Building, University of Exeter, Prince of Wales Road, Exeter, EX4 4PS, UK
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
- 2009, BSc (hons), University of Manchester
- 204, PhD, Univesrity of Bristol
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)
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.
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.
External Engagement and Impact
- Elizabeth Blackwell Institute Bridging Fellowship (2019)
- Alzheimer’s Research UK Fellowship (2016-2019)
- UoB-MRC Centenary Fellowship (2013-2014)
- Alzheimer’s Research UK
- University College Cork
- University of Edinburgh
- University of Bristol
- The Scotsman 04/08/15 Down’s link to part of the brain that affects learning. https://www.scotsman.com/news-2-15012/down-s-link-to-part-of-brain-that-affects-learning-1-3848641
- Health Canal 04/08/15 Scientists identify trouble spot in brain linked to learning difficulties in Down syndrome. https://www.healthcanal.com/brain-nerves/brain-diseases/65832-scientists-identify-trouble-spot-in-brain-linked-to-learning-difficulties-in-down-syndrome.html
- Daily Express 28/03/17 DEMENTIA BREAKTHROUGH: Earliest stages REVEALED by researchers for first time. https://www.express.co.uk/life-style/health/784851/Dementia-Alzheimers-research-medical-intervention-health
- Science Daily 28/03/17 Therapies that target dementia in early stages critical to success. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170328145236.htm
TeachingTeaching 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