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Professor Marcus Rattray

PositionHead of School, Professor of Pharmacology
LocationN9, Richmond building
DepartmentSchool of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
Feedback HoursBy appointment
Telephone+44 (0) 1274 234675
LinkedInVisit my LinkedIn profile
The ConversationVisit my profile page on The Conversation

Research Interests (key words only)

Neuroprotection, astrocytes, addiction, motor neurone disease, pharmacology.

Teaching and Supervisory Responsibilities

  • Interim Programme Leader, DPharm

  • Contribute teaching to MPharm (stage 1, stage 2, stage 4), Clinical Sciences BSc (foundation, year 3), Physician Associate programme

Administrative Responsibilities

  • Head of School

  • Vice Chair, University Learning & Teaching Committee

  • Chair, University External Examiner and Expert Subcommitee

  • Chair, Pharmacy & Medical Sciences Leadership Board

  • Member, DHEZ Academic Management Committee

Study History

  • BSc Biochemistry, 1984, University of Leeds

  • PhD Biochemistry, 1987, University of London

Professional History

  • April 2017: Head, School of Pharmacy & Medical Sciences, University of Bradford

  • Jan 2013 - March 2017: Head, School of Pharmacy, University of Bradford

  • Feb 2013 - Dec 2016: Visiting Senior Research Fellow, Reading School of Pharmacy, University of Reading

  • Jan 2008 - Dec 2013: Visiting Senior Research Fellow, King’s College London, Wolfson Centre for Age- Related Diseases, Guy’s Hospital Campus, London

  • Jan 2008 - Feb 2013: Reader in Pharmacology, Reading School of Pharmacy. University of Reading. (Oct 2011- Jan 2013 as Director of Research, Sept 2009 - Aug 2012 as Director of Pharmacology and Therapeutics, Mar 2008 to Sept 2009 as Director of Therapeutics)

  • Oct 2006 - Feb 2007: Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow. Travelling in USA, Australia and Singapore to explore the question “how best to treat drug abusers” 

  • Aug 1998 - Dec 2007: Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, King’s College London, Wolfson Centre for Age-Related Diseases, Guy’s Hospital Campus

  • Oct 1997 - July 1998: Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, UMDS, University of London

  • Oct 1989 - Sept 1997: Lecturer in Biochemistry, Division of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, United Medical and Dental Schools of Guy’s & St Thomas’ Hospitals (UMDS), University of London

  • Feb 1988 - Sept 1989: Visiting Fellow, Gene Neuroscience Unit, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, Addiction Research Center, Baltimore, USA

Download Prof Marcus Rattray CV (pdf)

Professional Activities

  • Deputy Chair, Pharmacy Schools Council

  • Trustee, European Society for Neurochemistry

  • Council member, European Society for Neurochemistry

  • Board member, International Drug Abuse Research Society

  • Editorial Board member, Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research Editorial

  • Board member, Nutrition and Aging

  • Editorial Board member, Frontiers in Experimental Pharmacology

  • External Examiner, Sheffield Institute of Translational Neuroscience

Learned societies and funding bodies

  • 2014: Organising Committee Member, Yorkshire Alzheimer’s Research UK Network
  • 2012: Member of Motor Neurone Disease Association Biomedical Research Advisory Panel
  • 2011: Chair, International Programme Committee, European Society or Neurochemistry. 5th Conference on Advances in Molecular Mechanisms of Neurological Disorders June 23-26, 2013, Bath
  • 2009: Member of the Biochemical Society theme Panel VI (Biological systems) ex. Panel VII, Mechanisms of Development and Disease
  • 2004: Board member and member of finance subcommittee, International Drug Abuse Research Society
  • 2007 - 2011: Member of the International Society for Neurochemistry conference committee
  • 2004 - 2010: Member of the Medical Research Council College of Experts


  • 2012: Editorial Board member, Journal of Drug and Alcohol Research
  • 2011: Deputy Chief Editor, Journal of Neurochemistry (from Jan 2012 Reviews Editor, member of editorial board since 2001)
  • 2011: Editorial Board member, Nutrition and Aging
  • 2010: Editorial Board member, Frontiers in Experimental Pharmacology


  • 2012: External Examiner, MSc in Biology by research, Royal Holloway University of London

  • 2011: External Examiner, Pharmacy, Welsh School of Pharmacy (2011-)

  • 2004 - 2008: External Examiner, Neuroscience BSc, Imperial College London

  • 2002 - 2007: External Examiner, Neuroscience BSc, Queen Mary, University of London

  • 1998 - 2004: Founder and Programme Director, Neuroscience BSc, King's College London

Research Areas

In my laboratory, the primary research interest is the properties and functions of transporter proteins in the central nervous system, and in particular their importance in neurodegeneration.

We use mainly molecular biological and cell biological techniques. Other related work is to understand the intracellular events underlying neurodegeneration and neuroprotection, in particular the role of co-ordinated gene expression in astrocytes in protecting neurones.

Much of our recent work has focussed on the glutamate transporter proteins. These proteins are expressed mainly by astrocytes (glial cells) in the central nervous system where they are important in controlling the levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate in the synaptic cleft. If glutamate transporters are impaired then elevated glutamate levels contribute to neuronal death. This process of excitotoxicity has been strongly implicated in a number of neurological illnesses, including Motor Neurone Disease and diseases associated with ageing such as Alzheimer's Disease and Parkinson's Disease. We are carrying out work to understand how glutamate transporters are down-regulated, and the consequences of this down-regulation, mostly using cell culture models.

Other interests include drugs of abuse, particularly MDMA, the development of new treatments for addiction, and the mechanisms of action of neuroprotective drugs.

Current Projects

  • Drug screening for anti-TDP43 Aggregation (funded by Motor Neurone Disease Association)

  • Increasing uptake of cancer screening in BME women in Bradford (Yorkshire Cancer Research)


See Professor Rattray's publications on Bradford Scholars

  • Eds Beart P, Robinson M, Rattray M, Maragakis N (2017) Neurodegenerative disease: pathology, mechanisms and potential therapeutic targets. Springer Press, NY

  • Ugbode CI, Rattray M & Dallas M (2017) Astrocytic Transporters in Alzheimer ’s disease. Biochemical Journal 474,333-355

  • Ugbode CI, Smith I, Whalley BJ, Hirst WD, Rattray M (2017) Sonic hedgehog signalling mediates astrocyte crosstalk with neurons to confer neuroprotection. Journal of Neurochemistry 142:429-443

  • Ugbode CI, Hirst WD & Rattray M (2016). Astrocytes grown in Alvetex® 3 dimensional scaffolds retain a nonreactive phenotype. Neurochemical Research 41:1857-67

  • Smith I, Haag M, Ugbode C, Tams D, Rattray M, Przyborski S, Bithell A, Whalley BJ (2015) Neuronal-glial populations form functional networks in a biocompatible 3D scaffold. Neuroscience Letters 609: 198-202

  • Rendeiro C, Vauzour D, Rattray M, Waffo-Téguo P, Mérillon JM, Butler LT, Williams CM and Spencer JPE (2015). Chapter 13. Dietary Levels of Pure Flavonoids Improve Spatial Memory Performance and Increase Hippocampal Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. In. “Prenatal and Childhood Nutrition, Evaluating the Neurocognitive Connections”. Ed Croft C, Apple Academic Press pp 321–344
  • Ugbode CI, Hirst WD, Rattray M. (2014) Neuronal influences are necessary to produce mitochondrial co-localization with glutamate transporters in astrocytes. J Neurochem. 130:668-67
  • Leoni G, Rattray M, Fulton D, Rivera A, Butt AM. (2014) Immunoablation of cells expressing the NG2 chondroitin sulphate proteoglycan. J Anat. 2014 224:216-27
  • Hoppe JB, Rattray M, Tu H, Salbego CG, Cimarosti H (2013) SUMO-1 conjugation blocks beta-amyloid-induced astrocyte reactivity. Neurosci Lett (546:51-6)
  • Rendeiro C, Vauzour, D Rattray M, Waffo-Téguo P, Mérillon J-M, Butler LT, Williams CM, Spencer JPE (2013) Dietary Levels of Pure Flavonoids Improve Spatial Memory Performance and Increase Hippocampal Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor. PLOSone 8. e63535
  • Vauzour, D, Rattray M, Williams RJ and Spencer JPE (2013). Potential neuroprotective actions of dietary flavonoids. In Handbook of natural products (in press)
  • Bahia P, Pugh, V, Hoyland K, Henlsey V, Rattray M and Williams RJ (2012) Neuroprotective effects of phenolic antioxidant tBHQ associate with inhibition of FoxO3a nuclear translocation and activity. Journal of Neurochemistry 123:182-91
  • Vauzour D, Spilsbury A, Vafeiadou K, Rattray M and Spencer JPE (2012) Modulation of neuroinflammation by dietary flavonoids. In Neuroinflammation: pathogenesis, mechanisms and their management Ed Carmelina Gemma. Nova Science Publishers (in press)
  • Rendeiro C, Vauzour D, Kean RJ, Butler LT, Rattray M, Spencer JPE and Williams CM (2012) Blueberry-supplementation induces spatial memory improvements and region-specific regulation of hippocampal BDNF mRNA expression in young animals. Psychopharmacology 223:319-330
  • Rattray M (2012) New insights on regulation of LMTK2, a membrane kinase integrating pathways central to neurodegeneration. Journal of Neurochemistry 121:327-8
  • Carbone M, Duty S and Rattray M Riluzole neuroprotection in a parkinson's disease model involves suppression of reactive astrocytosis but not GLT-1 regulation (2012). BMC Neuroscience 13:38
  • Spilsbury A, Vauzour D, Spencer JP, Rattray M (2012) Regulation of NF-κB activity in astrocytes: effects of flavonoids at dietary-relevant concentrations. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 418:578-83
  • Carbone M, Duty S and Rattray M (2012) Riluzole elevates GLT-1 activity and levels in striatal astrocytes. Neurochemistry International 60:31-38
  • Rainey-Smith S, Andersson D, Williams RJ & Rattray M (2010) Tumour necrosis factor alpha induces rapid reduction in AMPA receptor-mediated calcium entry in motor neurones by increasing cell surface expression of the GluR2 subunit: relevance to neurodegeneration. Journal of Neurochemistry 113:692-703
  • Leoni G, Rattray M, Butt AM (2009) NG2 cells differentiate into astrocytes in cerebellar slices. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 42, 208-218
  • Peacey E, Miller CCJ, Dunlop J, Rattray M (2009) The four major N- and C-terminal splice variants of the glutamate transporter GLT-1 form cell surface homomeric and heteromeric assemblies. Molecular Pharmacology 75, 1062-1073
  • Bahia P, Rattray M, Williams RJ (2008) Dietary flavonoid ( )epicatechin stimulates phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase dependent antioxidant response element activity and upregulates glutathione in cortical astrocytes. Journal of Neurochemistry 106, 2194-2204
  • Rainey-Smith S, Schroetke LW, Bahia P, Fahmi A, Skilton R, Spencer JPE, Rice-Evans C, Rattray M, Williams RJ (2008) Neuroprotective effects of hesperetin in mouse primary neurones are independent of CREB activation. Neuroscience Letters, 438, 29-33

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Public/Academic/Stakeholder Engagement

I give talks to numerous schools on subjects relating to pharmacology, neuroscience and drug use. and contribute to the London International Youth Science Forum.

When Politics and Science Collide - British Science Festival

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