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Personal profile

Personal Statement

Ben Pickard obtained a BSc in Biochemistry from Imperial College London (1992), and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh (1996). Before coming to the University of Strathclyde, he worked at the Babraham Institute, Cambridge on factors regulating DNA methylation, and at the Molecular Medicine Centre, Edinburgh, identifying genetic risk factors for common psychiatric illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and major depression.

Teaching Interests

  • Director of Postgraduate (Taught) Programmes: oversight of MSc courses
  • Course Director: new MSc Global Public Health
  • Deputy, undergraduate Biomedical Sciences student-staff committee
  • Teaching/class co-ordination across Biomedical Science classes: BM101, 102, 104, 305, 407, 410 (genetics, genomics, human disease, clinical biochemistry, neurdegeneration
  • Teching on MSc Generic Skills: MP931 (Bioethics)
  • Personal Development Advisor
  • Internal/external examiner PhD theses
  • External examiner MSc Neuroscience, UCL, (2013-2015)

Certificates of Recognition in University of Strathclyde Student Union Teaching Excellence Awards: 2012, 2013, 2014.

Research Interests

  • The role of the NPAS3 and ABCA13 genes in psychiatric illness
  • Metabolomic markers of mental illness
  • A novel stem cell type, and it potential use in research and therapeutics
  • A new gene trap-based mutation screening methodology to identify genes participating in specific aspects of cell function or response to drug treatment.
  • Functional genetics of neuroinflammation and pathogen infection
  • Oxidative stress biology
  • Telomere manipulation to produce new cell lines for research
  • Environmental factors influencing epigenetic marks on the genome

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Science, University of Edinburgh

Award Date: 1 Jan 1996

Bachelor of Biomedical science, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine

Award Date: 1 Jan 1992


  • schizophrenia
  • bipolar disorder
  • genetics
  • cell biology
  • metabolism
  • stem cells
  • molecular biology
  • transcriptomics
  • gene trap
  • telomerase
  • epigenetics

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Research Output

The role of neuronal NLRP1 inflammasome in Alzheimer's disease: bringing neurons into the neuroinflammation game

Yap, J. K. Y., Pickard, B. S., Chan, E. W. L. & Gan, S. Y., 1 Nov 2019, In : Molecular Neurobiology. 56, 11, p. 7741-7753 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Open Access
9 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)

PEGylation of polypropylenimine dendrimers: effects on cytotoxicity, DNA condensation, gene delivery and expression in cancer cells

Somani, S., Laskar, P., Altwaijry, N., Kewcharoenvong, P., Irving, C., Robb, G., Pickard, B. S. & Dufès, C., 20 Jun 2018, In : Scientific Reports. 8, 13 p., 9410.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
19 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)