Dr Emily Johnson


Education and research experience 

2016-2018: Research associate, Institute of Neuroscience, Newcastle University.

Sept 2012-August 2016: PhD in cardiovascular remodelling, University of Leeds.

2007–2010: BSc Neuroscience, 1st class (Hons), University of Leeds.



  • Johnson E, Duckles H, Elies J, Scragg JL, Boyle JP, Gamper N & Peers C. Extracellular regulation of the T-type Ca2+ channel CaV3.2 by thioredoxin (undergoing submission)
  • Elies J, Johnson E, Boyle JP, Scragg JL, Peers C. H2S does not regulate proliferation via T-type Ca(2+) channels. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2015 Jun 12; 461(4):659-64
  • Duckles H, Boycott HE, Al-Owais MM, Elies J, Johnson E, Dallas ML, Porter KE, Giuntini F, Boyle JP, Scragg JL, Peers C. Heme oxygenase-1 regulates cell proliferation via carbon monoxide-mediated inhibition of T-type Ca2+ channels. Pflügers Arch. 2015 Feb; 467(2):415-27
  • Peers C, Boyle JP, Scragg JL, Dallas ML, Al-Owais MM, Hettiarachichi NT, Elies J, Johnson E, Gamper N & Steele DS. Diverse mechanisms underlying the regulation of ion channels by carbon monoxide. Br J Pharmacol. 2015; 172 (6):1546-1556.
  • Duckles H, Al-Owais MM, Elies J, Johnson E, Boycott HE, Dallas ML, Porter KE, Boyle JP, Scragg JL and Peers C.  T-type Ca2+ channel regulation by CO: a mechanism for control of cell proliferation. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 2015; 860: 291-300.

Research interests

Previous research 

Using techniques to visualise ionic currents in real-time and exploring how they underpin complex physiological processes has always fascinated me. Having gained a BSc in Neuroscience my PhD investigated how thioredoxin modulates both T-type calcium channel activity and cellular proliferation (Prof Chris Peers’ lab). Optogenetics is an exciting relatively new technique which utilises light to control genetically defined subtypes of cells. My first post-doctoral position was working on a large cross-site multi-disciplinary research project – Controlling Abnormal Network Dynamics using Optogenetics (CANDO, Newcastle university). The aim was to develop optogenetics as a novel treatment for temporal lobe epilepsy.

Current research 

I am currently working with Jim and Sue Deuchars in collaboration with Jamie Johnston, using 2-photon calcium imaging to study the activity of cerebrospinal fluid contacting neurons (CSFcNs) within the spinal cord. We are also setting up optogenetics to explore spinal cord circuitry with preliminary experiments looking at functional GABAergic inputs into sympathetic preganglionic neurons and CSFcNs. I am also actively involved in several other exciting projects within the lab. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://biologicalsciences.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD, Cardiovascular remodelling, University of Leeds
  • BSc, Neuroscience, University of Leeds

Student education

In 2019-2020 session I am running tutorials for BMSC1103 and BMSC2120

Research groups and institutes

  • Neuroscience - Post doctorates