Chris Smith

Dr. Chris Smith

Senior lecturer in pharmacology

School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences

Maudland Building, MB139

+44 (0) 1772 89 5845

Subject Areas: Biosciences, Pharmacy and Pharmacology

Chris joined UCLan as a lecturer in pharmacology in 2008. His research area is in neuropharmacology and exploring brain neurochemistry and behaviour in preclinical models of disease and pharmacokinetics

Chris is research active within the area of pharmacy and biomedical sciences and is a member of the Neuronal and Tissue Dysfunction Research Group

Full Profile

Chris graduated from the University of Birmingham in 2000 with B.Med.Sci specialising in pharmacology. He remained in Birmingham and the Department of Pharmacology of Prof Norman Bowery and received a Faculty Scholarship to undertake a PhD under the supervision of Dr Kevin Whitehead. His thesis centred on uptake mechanisms for the neurotransmitter GABA in the spinal cord and how it can be affected by pharmacological agents and peripheral nerve damage. During this time, Chris utilised microdialysis in the spinal cord to monitor neurotransmitter release, a technique unique in the UK.

Chris remained at the University of Birmingham to do two postdoctoral positions. The first project looked at the role of monoamine neurotransmitters in irritable bowel syndrome, while the second investigated the spinal release of cyctokines following peripheral nerve injury and peripheral stimulation. This project also highlighted the communication between neurones and non-neuronal glial cells in the central nervous system, a research theme that has continued at UCLAN.

Chris was appointed as lecturer in 2008 and senior lecturer in 2012. After a period focussed on teaching, Chris has returned to research and with Dr Lisa Shaw recently established a preclinical model of glioma brain tumours at UCLAN. Current research projects using this model are;

1) To validate biomarkers from clinical and preclinical serum and CSF samples for diagnostic and prognostic utility.
2) To assess efficacy of novel anti-glioma drugs and strategies to selectively target glioma.

A related project explores the pharmacokinetics of novel drugs and targeting strategies for existing drugs, with particular focus on drugs needing access to the brain. As the brain is protected by the blood brain barrier only select drugs can gain access to the central nervous system. Consequently, any mechanism to increase a drugs access to the brain could have significant benefit for conditions like brain tumours and Alzheimer’s disease. This research theme will use physiology based kinetic modelling to validate a novel in vitro blood brain barrier model developed at UCLAN (Dr Jane Alder) and will be able to determine penetrance of novel and modified drugs to the CNS (with Prof Kamalinder Singh).

Projects are available for funded students.


British Pharmacological Society

Member of Royal Society of Biology

Fellow of Higher Education Academy


Dynamic regulation of spinal pro-inflammatory cytokine release in the rat in vivo following peripheral nerve injury.

K.J. Whitehead, C.G.S. Smith, S.A. Delaney, S.J. Curnow, M. Salmon, J.P. Hughes and I.P. Chessell. Brain, Behaviour and Immunity 24:569-76 (2010)

GABA transporter type 1 (GAT-1) uptake inhibition reduces stimulated aspartate and glutamate release in the dorsal spinal cord in vivo via different GABAergic mechanisms.

C.G.S. Smith, N.G. Bowery and K.J. Whitehead. Neuropharm. 53:975-81 (2007)

Monolithic column-based reversed-phase liquid chromatography separation for amino acid assay in microdialysate and cerebral spinal fluid.

A. Devall, R. Blake, N. Langman, C.G.S. Smith, D.A. Richards and K.J. Whitehead. J. Chromatogr. B 848:323-8 (2007)

Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibition attenuates evoked glutamate release in the dorsal horn of the anaesthetised rat in vivo. N.J. Langman, C.G.S. Smith and K.J. Whitehead. Pharm. Res. 53:149-155 (2006)

More publications




Research Activities

Plasticity of spinal cord neurotransmission in neuropathic pain

Neuronal-glial communication

Amino acid neurotransmitter transport mechanisms

Teaching Activities

BSc Biomedical Science
BSc Biological Science
BSc Healthcare Science
BSc Physiology and Pharmacology
BSc Neuroscience
MPharm Pharmacy
MSc Biomedical Sciences
MSc Cancer Biology and Therapeutics
MSc Pharmaceutical Biotechnology


Year 1
BL1212 Bioscience in the News
BL1214 Supplementary Physiology and Pharmacology
BL1217 Introduction to Pharmacology (Module tutor)

Year 2
BL2217 Systems Pharmacology
PJ2200 Systems Pharmacology

Year 3
BL3202 Drugs: from Use to Abuse (Module tutor)
BL3218 Current Practices in Clinical Biochemistry (Acting module tutor)
BL3212 Pathophysiology and treatment of CNS disorders, pain and cancer
BL3299 Individual research project
BL3298 Group research project

Year 4
BL4203 Biomedical Ethics
BL4219 Pharmaceutical Regulation, Clinical Trials and Pharmacovigilance
PJ4101 Drug Development


  • Pharmacological treatment of glioma (with Lisa Shaw)
  • Blood and CSF biomarkers for glioma (with Lisa Shaw)
  • Physiology based kinetic validation of BBB model (with Jane Alder)
  • Pharmacokinetics of modified drugs for the CNS (with Kamalinder Singh) 

External Activities

Schools liaison for Royal Society of Biology North West Branch

External examiner University of Plymouth