Dr. Paul Dodson

Dr. Paul Dodson

OPDC Senior Research Fellow & University Research Lecturer

Dr Dodson’s research team investigates how different sub-populations of neurons in the basal ganglia encode behaviour and how this is perturbed in Parkinson’s disease. To link the molecular profile of different neurons to their role in behaviour, the team uses in vivo single-unit recording & labelling with optogenetic manipulation in behaving animals. 

Paul graduated in Physiology and received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Leicester. During his graduate studies in Professor Ian Forsythe's laboratory, Paul made patch-clamp recordings at the calyx of Held synapse to investigate the roles of presynaptic potassium channels. In 2004, he moved to Los Angeles as an HFSPO Long-Term Fellow to work with Professor Tom Otis to investigate how alcohol affects GABAA receptors in the cerebellum to cause motor impairment. Paul returned to the UK in 2006 to work with Professor Matt Nolan at the University of Edinburgh to study how ion channel expression in grid cells is 'tuned' to precisely control neuronal function. In January 2011, Paul joined the MRC Unit as a Career Development Fellow of the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Centre (OPDC). In 2015, Dr Dodson was appointed as an OPDC Senior Research Fellow and in 2016 became a University Research Lecturer.


Key research areas

  • Investigating the role of neuronal activity in shaping behaviour
  • Characterising heterogeneous sub-populations of neurons within the basal ganglia
  • Developing new experimental models of Parkinson's disease


Team members

Amy Wolff (Postdoctoral Neuroscienctist)

Anna-Kristin Kaufmann (Research Student)


Former team members

Barbara Schaffran (Visiting Research Student)