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Blizard Institute - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Joanne Martin, MA (Cantab), MB, BS, PhD FRCPath


Deputy Vice Principal Health; Director of the Blizard Institute; Professor of Pathology

Centre: Centre for Genomics and Child Health

Telephone: 020 7882 2356


Qualified at the Royal London Hospital Medical College in 1984 and, following House appointments, was awarded an MRC Training Fellowship in 1988, a MRC Fellowship in 1990 and Wellcome Trust Advanced Research Training Fellowship in 1991. Appointed Clinical Senior Lecturer/Consultant Histopathologist in 1996 and subsequently, Professor of Neuropathology. Clinical Director of Diagnostics and Therapeutics Directorate for Barts & The London NHS Trust. I have been appointed Honorary Lecturer in Healthcare Management, Keele University . I have a longstanding interest in the cellular processes leading to neurodegeneration, particularly of the motor system.


Research Interests:

Building on knowledge of cellular structure of motor neurons in health and disease, the work has looked at models, mechanisms and potential interventions related to neurodegeneration and dysfunction of the motor system, both central nervous system and GI tract.

Expanding the number and range of models of neurological disorders, including motor neuron dysfunction has been very fruitful, with provision of the only clinical input into a major mutagenesis programme . The development of a high throughput phenotype screening method was key for this, and the method is still used in this context. The identification of new models of motor neuron degeneration has been followed by identification of the genetic basis of these, opening a new area of interest in dynein related processes in the context of neurodegeneration. The causes and effects of axonal transport defects has been explored in this context, and the handling of bulk debris had been a focus of current interest, with a key description of neurons as phagocytes. The potential for use of related process for the delivery of drug agents into neurons is under active exploration, with development of drug delivery of molecules that were previously excluded from the nervous system.


•  Knowles CH, Nickols CD, Scott SM, Bennett NI, de Oliveira RB, Chimelli L, Feakins R, Williams NS, Martin JE: Smooth muscle inclusion bodies in slow transit constipation. J Pathol ; 193: 390-397, 2001

•  Guy J, Hendrich B, Holmes M, Martin JE, Bird A: A mouse Mecp2-null mutation causes neurological symptoms that mimic Rett syndrome. Nat Genet ; 27: 322-326, 2001

•  Griffin JL, Muller D, Woograsingh R, Jowatt V, Hindmarsh A, Nicholson JK, Martin JE: Vitamin E deficiency and metabolic deficits in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis described by bioinformatics. Physiol Genomics ; 11: 195-203, 2002

•  Hafezparast M, Klocke R, Ruhrberg C, Marquardt A, Ahmad-Annuar A, Bowen S, Lalli G, Witherden AS, Hummerich H, Nicholson S, Morgan PJ, Oozageer R, Priestley JV, Averill S, King VR, Ball S, Peters J, Toda T, Yamamoto A, Hiraoka Y, Augustin M, Korthaus D, Wattler S, Wabnitz P, Dickneite C, Lampel S, Boehme F, Peraus G, Popp A, Rudelius M, Schlegel J, Fuchs H, Hrabe dA, Schiavo G, Shima DT, Russ AP, Stumm G, Martin JE, Fisher EM: Mutations in dynein link motor neuron degeneration to defects in retrograde transport. Science ; 300: 808-812, 2003

View all Joanne Martin's Research Publications at: