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Dr Ritchie Williamson

Associate Professor

Faculty/Dept/School School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
Telephone +441274 236073


2019 -           Group Lead Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics, University of Bradford

2013 -           Lecturer in Therapeutics, University of Bradford

2011 - 2013  Postdoctoral researcher, College of Life Sciences, University of Dundee

2008 - 2011  Postdoctoral researcher, School of Medicine, University of Dundee

2001 - 2004  Alzheimer's Society Research Fellowship, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

1997 - 2001  Phd, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

1996 - 1997  MSc Neuroscience, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London

1992 -1996   BSc Biochemistry, University of Bath


Research in my laboratory focuses on identifying molecular mechanisms that underlie age-related cognitive decline and dementia. Increasing data from observational studies has identified a number of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with an increased risk of developing dementia including diabetes, obesity, physical inactivity, low educational attainment, depression, smoking, and hypertension. In addition, these risk factors are additive suggesting that common signaling pathways underlie these risk factors. A key observation of a number of these risk factors is that they display alterations in energy intake/expenditure and glucose metabolism. It has previously been established that there is a link between altered energy intake, insulin sensitivity and poor cognitive performance. However, the precise molecular mechanisms that underlies the observed decrease in cognitive performance remains to be established. One possible mechanism is protein O-GlcNAcylation (a glucose-dependent post translational modification). Protein O-GlcNAcylation is altered in Alzheimer’s disease. Other than a well-established role in gene expression, how protein O-GlcNAcylation effects protein function is still to be fully determined. Work in my laboratory aims to elucidate the links between glucose-dependent alterations in protein modifications, nutritional status, and ageing to molecular mechanisms underlying dementia. 


TitleEmerging roles of protein O-GlcNAcylation in cardiovascular diseases: Insights and novel therapeutic targets. (2021)
AuthorsBolanle IO;Riches-Suman K;Williamson R;Palmer TM;
JournalPharmacological Research
TitleRevascularisation of type 2 diabetics with coronary artery disease: Insights and therapeutic targeting of O-GlcNAcylation. (2021)
AuthorsBolanle IO;Riches-Suman K;Loubani M;Williamson R;Palmer TM;
JournalNutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD
TitleLoss of CRMP2 O-GlcNAcylation leads to reduced novel object recognition performance in mice (2019)
AuthorsMuha, V.; Williamson, Ritchie; Hills, R.; McNeilly, A.D.; McWilliams, T.G.; Alonso, J.; Schimpl, M.; Leney, A.C.; Heck, A.J.R.; Sutherland, C.; Read, K.D.; McCrimmon, R.J.; Brooks, S.P.; van Aalten, D.M.F.
TitleEndoplasmic reticulum stress signalling induces casein kinase 1-dependent formation of cytosolic TDP-43 Inclusions in motor neuron-like cells (2019)
AuthorsHicks, D.A.; Cross, Laura L.; Williamson, Ritchie; Rattray, Marcus
JournalNeurochemical Research
TitleA mutant O-GlcNAcase enriches Drosophila developmental regulators (2017)
AuthorsSelvan, N.; Williamson, Ritchie; Mariappa, D.; Campbell, D.G.; Gourlay, R.; Ferenbach, A.T.; Aristotelous, T.; Hopkins-Navratilova, I.; Trost, M.; van Aalten, D.M.F.
TitlemRNA Cap Methylation in Pluripotency and Differentiation (2016)
AuthorsGrasso, L.; Suska, O.; Davidson, L.; Gonatopolous-Pournatzis, T.; Williamson, Ritchie; Wasmus, L.; Wiedlich, S.; Peggie, M.; Stavridis, M.P.; Cowling, V.H.
TitleClusterin regulates β-amyloid toxicity via Dickkopf-1-driven induction of the wnt-PCP-JNK pathway. (2014)
AuthorsKillick R;Ribe EM;Al-Shawi R;Malik B;Hooper C;Fernandes C;Dobson R;Nolan PM;Lourdusamy A;Furney S;Lin K;Breen G;Wroe R;To AW;Leroy K;Causevic M;Usardi A;Robinson M;Noble W;Williamson R;Lunnon K;Kellie S;Reynolds CH;Bazenet C;Hodges A;Brion JP;Stephenson J;Simons JP;Lovestone S;
JournalMolecular Psychiatry
TitleInsulin resistance in the brain: an old-age or new-age problem? (2012)
AuthorsWilliamson R;McNeilly A;Sutherland C;
JournalBiochemical Pharmacology
TitleA high-fat-diet-induced cognitive deficit in rats that is not prevented by improving insulin sensitivity with metformin (2012)
AuthorsMcNeilly, A.D.; Williamson, Ritchie; Balfour, D.J.; Stewart, C.A.; Sutherland, C.
TitleOligomeric amyloid-β peptide affects the expression of genes involved in steroid and lipid metabolism in primary neurons. (2012)
AuthorsMalik B;Fernandes C;Killick R;Wroe R;Usardi A;Williamson R;Kellie S;Anderton BH;Reynolds CH;
JournalNeurochemistry International
TitleNeuronal membranes are key to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease: the role of both raft and non-raft membrane domains. (2011)
AuthorsWilliamson R;Sutherland C;
JournalCurrent Alzheimer Research
TitleCRMP2 hyperphosphorylation is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and not a feature common to other neurodegenerative diseases. (2011)
AuthorsWilliamson R;van Aalten L;Mann DM;Platt B;Plattner F;Bedford L;Mayer J;Howlett D;Usardi A;Sutherland C;Cole AR;
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
TitleTyrosine phosphorylation of tau regulates its interactions with Fyn SH2 domains, but not SH3 domains, altering the cellular localization of tau. (2011)
AuthorsUsardi A;Pooler AM;Seereeram A;Reynolds CH;Derkinderen P;Anderton B;Hanger DP;Noble W;Williamson R;
JournalFEBS Journal
TitleTyrosine phosphorylation of tau by the SRC family kinases lck and fyn. (2011)
AuthorsScales TM;Derkinderen P;Leung KY;Byers HL;Ward MA;Price C;Bird IN;Perera T;Kellie S;Williamson R;Anderton BH;Reynolds CH;
JournalMolecular Neurodegeneration
TitleHigh fat feeding promotes simultaneous decline in insulin sensitivity and cognitive performance in a delayed matching and non-matching to position task. (2011)
AuthorsMcNeilly AD;Williamson R;Sutherland C;Balfour DJ;Stewart CA;
TitleBiguanide metformin acts on tau phosphorylation via mTOR/protein phosphatase 2A (PP2A) signaling (2010)
AuthorsKickstein, E.; Krauss, S.; Thornhill, P.; Rutschow, D.; Zeller, R.; Sharkey, J.; Williamson, Ritchie; Fuchs, M.; Kohler, A.; Glossmann, H.; Schneider, R.; Sutherland, C.; Schweiger, S.
TitleEvidence that glycogen synthase kinase-3 isoforms have distinct substrate preference in the brain (2010)
AuthorsSoutar, M.P.; Kim, W.Y.; Williamson, Ritchie; Peggie, M.; Hastie, C.J.; McLauchlan, H.; Snider, W.D.; Gordon-Weeks, P.R.; Sutherland, C.
TitleIsolation of detergent resistant microdomains from cultured neurons: detergent dependent alterations in protein composition. (2010)
AuthorsWilliamson R;Thompson AJ;Abu M;Hye A;Usardi A;Lynham S;Anderton BH;Hanger DP;
JournalBMC Neuroscience
TitleQuantitation of glycogen synthase kinase-3 sensitive proteins in neuronal membrane rafts. (2009)
AuthorsThompson AJ;Williamson R;Schofield E;Stephenson J;Hanger D;Anderton B;
TitleThe microtubule-associated protein tau is also phosphorylated on tyrosine. (2009)
AuthorsLebouvier T;Scales TM;Williamson R;Noble W;Duyckaerts C;Hanger DP;Reynolds CH;Anderton BH;Derkinderen P;
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
TitleMembrane-bound beta-amyloid oligomers are recruited into lipid rafts by a fyn-dependent mechanism (2008)
AuthorsWilliamson, Ritchie; Usardi, A.; Hanger, D.P.; Anderton, B.H.
TitleTyrosine 394 is phosphorylated in Alzheimer's paired helical filament tau and in fetal tau with c-Abl as the candidate tyrosine kinase. (2005)
AuthorsDerkinderen P;Scales TM;Hanger DP;Leung KY;Byers HL;Ward MA;Lenz C;Price C;Bird IN;Perera T;Kellie S;Williamson R;Noble W;Van Etten RA;Leroy K;Brion JP;Reynolds CH;Anderton BH;
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
TitleThe antidepressant clomipramine regulates cortisol intracellular concentrations and glucocorticoid receptor expression in fibroblasts and rat primary neurones. (2003)
AuthorsPariante CM;Hye A;Williamson R;Makoff A;Lovestone S;Kerwin RW;
TitleRapid tyrosine phosphorylation of neuronal proteins including tau and focal adhesion kinase in response to amyloid-beta peptide exposure: involvement of Src family protein kinases. (2002)
AuthorsWilliamson R;Scales T;Clark BR;Gibb G;Reynolds CH;Kellie S;Bird IN;Varndell IM;Sheppard PW;Everall I;Anderton BH;
JournalThe Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience
TitleLobeline and structurally simplified analogs exhibit differential agonist activity and sensitivity to antagonist blockade when compared to nicotine (1998)
AuthorsTerry A.;Williamson R.;Gattu M.;Beach J.;McCurdy C.;Sparks J.;Pauly J.
TitleTranscriptomic analysis of oligomeric amyloid-β treated primary cortical neurons reveals dysregulation of genes involved in the biosynthesis of steroids and cholesterol (2014)
AuthorsMalik B.;Fernandes C.;Killick R.;Usardi A.;Williamson R.;Kellie S.;Anderton B.;Reynolds C.
JournalMicroarrays: Principles, Applications and Technologies
TitleProtocol for quantitative proteomics of cellular membranes and membrane rafts. (2010)
AuthorsThompson AJ;Williamson R;
JournalLC-Ms/MS in Proteomics: Methods and Applications
Other typeReviews
TitleEmerging roles of protein O-GlcNAcylation in cardiovascular diseases: Insights and novel therapeutic targets (2021)
AuthorsBolanle I.O.;Riches-Suman K.;Williamson R.;Palmer T.M.
JournalPharmacological Research
Other typeReviews
TitleRevascularisation of type 2 diabetics with coronary artery disease: Insights and therapeutic targeting of O-GlcNAcylation (2021)
AuthorsBolanle I.O.;Riches-Suman K.;Loubani M.;Williamson R.;Palmer T.M.
JournalNutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD
Other typeReviews
TitleNeuronal membranes are key to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease: The role of both raft and non-raft membrane domains (2011)
AuthorsWilliamson R.;Sutherland C.
JournalCurrent Alzheimer Research