Veterinary preclinical sciences research

Our research focuses on physiology, neuroscience, ageing and chronic diseases of joints and the musculoskeletal system.

Much of the work is interdisciplinary and crosses species barriers. Our external funding is continually growing, with income from the European Commission, research councils, industry and leading charitable foundations.

Design-based stereology

State-of-the-art Design-based Stereology is a developing Science and a powerful tool to monitor changes in the structure of genes, cells, bacteria, viruses, tissues, organs and systems - as a result of both normal and abnormal conditions, and to extract 3-D quantitative information. Stereology can be implemented in conjunction with Confocal, Light and Electron Microscopy and also with Imaging Diagnosis (MRI).

Musculoskeletal biology and physiology

The musculoskeletal system consists of specialised connective tissues that maintain and stabilise the body and produce controlled, precise and co-ordinated movements. It consists of bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, intervertebral disks, hyaline and elastic cartilages. The Musculoskeletal Biology / Physiology research theme focuses on the physiology and pathophysiology of musculoskeletal tissues and cells.


This line of research enquiry aims at understanding and monitoring the effects of ageing on the structure of the autonomic nervous system of a plethora of animal species. The main structural parameters investigated are: total number of neurons (using biomarkers for neurogenesis such as Ki-67). Autonomic ganglia play an important role in grave neuropathies including Horner’s syndrome, stroke, epilepsy, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Another topic of interest is the effects of Parkinson’s disease on the structure of the Brain and of cardiac and enteric neurons.

Research projects


Research here covers a broad range of cardiological conditions affecting animals and humans. Using a combination of innovative basic science techniques, applied physiology, and clinically relevant approaches, we aim to translate laboratory research into clinical practice, in turn improving cardiac outcome and care for both animals and humans. We have a diverse range of experts working as a single multidisciplinary team to help drive the research agenda under this theme.