Professor Jim Deuchars


  • Pro Dean International

Research interests

Worldwide, hypertension and associated cardiovascular problems are on the increase. One currently untapped avenue for treatment is manipulation of areas of the central nervous system involved in cardiovascular control. Our aim is to further current understanding in these areas to open up the possibility of new interventions. We have several projects in this and associated areas:

Neuromodulation of the autonomic nervous systemNeuromodulation, the alteration of nerve activity through the use of targeted electrical stimulation or pharmacology, is a rapidly advancing field with applications in a plethora of conditions that have previously proven difficult to treat. We are investigating how neuromodulation influences the autonomic nervous system. We are investigating the effects of transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation (tVNS) and on autonomic nervous output in humans. We measure heart rate variability, baroreceptor reflex sensitivity and apply microneurography to measure sympathetic nerve activity.

Neuronal circuits controlling autonomic outflow – we combine electrophysiology and neuroanatomy to investigate properties of neuronal circuits in the CNS that underlie control of the autonomic nervous system. Much of this work focusses on cardiovascular control, but we also have interests in other autonomic outputs. A large part of this work focusses on the spinal cord and leads us to consider other spinal cord circuitry as part of a larger grouping (Chakrabarty, Sue Deuchars, Gamper, Ichiyama, Kwok) at Leeds focussing on these areas.

Spinal cord neurogenesis - in the last few years we have begun to study how the spinal cord creates new cells. Our aim to to manipulate endogeneous signalling systems to help spinal repair in diseases such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord injury.

Areas from which our research benefits from the input of colleagues in Leeds include:

Neuroscience and the cross-university research interest group NeuR@L.

Our cardiovascular research is facilitated by colleagues in the University wide Multi-Disciplinary Cardiovascular Research Centre and in the Faculty by Cardiovascular, Sports and Exercise Sciences.

Our investigations into how membrane proteins such as ion channels, neurotransmitter receptors and transporters influence the properties of neurones under investigation are aided by the Integrative Membrane Biology group.

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


  • BSc, Glasgow;
  • PhD 1992, London
  • PGCLTHE Leeds, 1999

Professional memberships

  • Physiological Society
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Higher Education Academy

Student education

My personal tutees are generally from the Neuroscience degree programme. I run tutorials, occasionally practicals and lecture on neuroscience topics. I also lecture in final year and deliver up-to-the-minute material on how the CNS controls heart rate and blood pressure and how neuromodulation is being increasingly harnessed to treat cardiovascular disorders.

Current postgraduate research students

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>