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Dr Samantha Mclean McLean

Associate Professor

Faculty/Dept/School School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
Telephone +441274 235809


Dr Samantha McLean (PhD in Neuropharmacology, University of Bradford, 2010) is a Pharmacologist (University of Leeds, 2006). Sam is appointed as an Associate Professor in Pharmacology, Director of Admissions and Marketing for the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences and Deputy Director of Research at Health, Society, People and Place in the Faculty of Life Sciences. 

Sam is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, UK (2020). She has experience in leading, developing and accreditation of innovative programmes of study in life sciences at undergraduate and postgraduate levels, including MPharm (GPhC).

As Director of Marketing and Admissions, Sam is managing marketing and recruitment activities across all programme levels: MPharm, BSc Clinical Sciences, BSc Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Science and a portfolio of postgraduate MSc and Research taught programmes in the School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, Centre for Pharmaceutical Engineering Science, and the Institute of Cancer Therapeutics. Her outreach and recruitment agenda spans a variety of projects aimed at improving access to and widening participation in higher education among home students and managing strategic partnerships with internal and external stakeholders focused on recruitment across international markets. 

She is an external examiner at Kings College London for the MSc Neuroscience programme, Associate Editor for the Journal of Neuroscience Research and a member of the Pharmacy and Pharmacogenomics Working Group for the Genomic Medicine Service Alliance (Northeast and Yorkshire). As a Trustee and Board member of the Cellar Trust (a UK-registered mental health charity), Sam is responsible for the charity, it’s activities and management supporting people's mental health across the Bradford district, Craven and surrounding areas.


Sam is an expert in developing preclinical models of psychiatry and behavioural paradigms to study novel receptor targets. She has experience in managing research projects within academia as well as commercial environments and collaborates with major pharmaceutical stakeholders focusing on research and development of antipsychotic and cognitive-enhancing drugs, including their regulatory (FDA) approval.

As a Research Fellow at Wolfson Centre for Applied Health Research she has experience in applied health research related to mental health and pharmacogenomics. 

Sam has supervised 5 PhD students and led several MSc projects. She has acted as an independent chair, internal and external examiner for several PhD students. Her research has received funding from the Royal Society UK, Alzheimer's Research UK and Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust.   

As deputy research director (Health Society People and Place) she is leading the integration of interdisciplinary research themes across the Faculty of Life Sciences, including postgraduate research programmes (PhD, MD).     

Current research projects include:

  • Exploration of the role of glutamatergic pharmacology and receptor modifications underlying cognitive function in rodent models of schizophrenia
  • Investigation of the importance of the biological rhythms and the dopamine system in cognitive dysfunction
  • Validation of a stem-cell secretome as a therapeutic for neurodegeneration ·   
  • Implementation of pharmacogenomic testing in mental health settings to inform and improve medicines optimisation and personalised prescribing
  • Studies on students’ views about team-based learning and implications of online teaching.


TitleThe Chemerin-CMKLR1 Axis is Functionally important for Central Regulation of Energy Homeostasis (2022)
AuthorsYun, H: Dumbell, R: Hanna, K: Bowen, J; McLean, SL; Kantamneni, S; Pors, K; Wu, QF; Helfer, G
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
TitleWhat Are the Barriers and Enablers to the Implementation of Pharmacogenetic Testing in Mental Health Care Settings? (2021)
AuthorsJameson A, Fylan B, Bristow GC, Sagoo GS, Dalton C, Cardno A, Sohal J, McLean SL
JournalFrontiers in Genetics
TitleThe effect of photoperiod and high fat diet on the cognitive response in photoperiod-sensitive F344 rats. (2021)
AuthorsMcLean SL;Yun H;Tedder A;Helfer G;
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Title(3S)-3-(2,3-difluorophenyl)-3-methoxypyrrolidine (IRL752) - a novel cortical-preferring catecholamine transmission- and cognition-promoting agent. (2020)
AuthorsHjorth S; Waters S; Waters N; Tedroff J; Svensson P; Fagerberg A; Edling M; Svanberg B; Ljung E; Gunnergren J; McLean SL; Grayson B; Idris NF; Neill JC; Sonesson C
JournalJournal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics
TitleStabilized low-n amyloid-ß oligomers induce robust novel object recognition deficits associated with inflammatory, synaptic, and GABAergic dysfunction in the rat (2018)
AuthorsWatremez, W.; Jackson, J.; Almari, B.; McLean, Samantha L.; Grayson, B.; Neilla, J.C.; Fischer, N.; Allouche, A.; Koziel, V.; Pillot, T.; Harte, M.K.
TitleDopamine dysregulation in the prefrontal cortex relates to cognitive deficits in the sub-chronic PCP-model for schizophrenia: a preliminary investigation (2017)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Harte, Michael K.; Neill, Joanna C.; Young, A.M.J.
TitleNicotinic α7 and α4β2 agonists enhance the formation and retrieval of recognition memory: potential mechanisms for cognitive performance enhancement in neurological and psychiatric disorders (2016)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Grayson, Ben; Marsh, S.; Zarroug, S.H.O.; Harte, Michael K.; Neill, Joanna C.
TitleUsing haloperidol as an anti-emetic in palliative care: informing practice through evidence from cancer treatment and post-operative contexts (2013)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Blenkinsopp, Alison; Bennett, M.I.
TitlePNU-120596, a positive allosteric modulator of α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, reverses a sub-chronic phencyclidineinduced cognitive deficit in the attentional set-shifting task in female rats (2012)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Idris, Nagi F.; Grayson, Ben; Gendle, D.F.; Mackie, C.; Lesage, A.S.; Pemberton, D.J.; Neill, Joanna C.
TitlePhencyclidine (PCP)-induced disruption in cognitive performance is gender-specific and associated with a reduction in brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in specific regions of the female rat brain (2011)
AuthorsSnigdha, S.; Neill, Joanna C.; McLean, Samantha L.; Shemar, G.K.; Cruise, L.; Shahid, M.; Henry, B.
TitleActivation of α7 nicotinic receptors improves phencyclidine-induced deficits in cognitive tasks in rats: Implications for therapy of cognitive dysfunction in schizophrenia (2011)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Grayson, Ben; Idris, Nagi F.; Lesage, A.S.; Pemberton, D.J.; Mackie, C.; Neill, Joanna C.
TitleIsolation rearing impairs novel object recognition and attentional set shifting performance in female rats (2010)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Grayson, Ben; Harris, M.; Protheroe, C.; Bate, S.; Woolley, M.L.; Neill, Joanna C.
TitleAnimal models of cognitive dysfunction and negative symptoms of schizophrenia: focus on NMDA receptor antagonism (2010)
AuthorsNeill, Joanna C.; Barnes, Samuel; Cook, Samantha; Grayson, Ben; Idris, Nagi F.; McLean, Samantha L.; Snigdha, S.; Rajagopal, Lakshmi; Harte, Michael K.
TitleEffects of asenapine, olanzapine, and risperidone on psychotomimetic-induced reversal-learning deficits in the rat (2010)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Neill, Joanna C.; Idris, Nagi F.; Marston, H.M.; Wong, E.H.F.; Shahid, M.
TitleEffects of subchronic phencyclidine on behaviour of female rats on the elevated plus maze and open field (2010)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Woolley, M.L.; Neill, Joanna C.
TitleD1-like receptor activation improves PCP-induced cognitive deficits in animal models: Implications for mechanisms of improved cognitive function in schizophrenia (2009)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Idris, Nagi F.; Woolley, M.L.; Neill, Joanna C.
TitleRole of 5-HT receptor mechanisms in sub-chronic PCP-induced reversal learning deficits in the rat (2009)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Woolley, M.L.; Thomas, D.; Neill, Joanna C.
TitleA preliminary investigation into the effects of antipsychotics on sub-chronic phencyclidine-induced deficits in attentional set-shifting in female rats (2008)
AuthorsMcLean, Samantha L.; Beck, J.P.; Woolley, M.L.; Neill, Joanna C.

Other typeANET/COS
TitlePharmacogenomics is the future of prescribing inpsychiatry (2022)
AuthorsJameson A, Fylan B, Bristow GC, Sagoo GS, Dalton C, Cardno A, Sohal J, McLean SL