Connecting European Neuroscience

Dervila Glynn

Communication committee, chair (2018-2020)
Communication committee, ordinary member (2016-2018)


Oct 2011-current: Cambridge Neuroscience Coordinator and Strategic Manager, University of Cambridge.

2012-current: Special Supervisor in Pharmacology, Newnham College, University of Cambridge

2009-current: External Lecturer and internal examiner at University of Cambridge to Natural Science, Medical, Veterinary, and Psychology & Education students.

2001-current: various teaching responsibilities including dissertation supervisor (neuroscience), practical demonstrator, course organiser and college supervisor

2003-2011: Dept. Pharmacology, University of Cambridge (Post Doctoral research associate (‘04-‘11), Research assistant (‘03-‘04))

2000-2004: University of Cambridge, Downing College. PhD in Pharmacology, Title: 'The role of complexins in neurological function in mice'

1996-2000: National University of Ireland, Galway. BSc. Biotechnology (First class honours)

I am a skilled and enthusiastic neuroscientist, with a background in Huntington’s disease research having gained over ten years of research experience, before leaving the bench to become the Cambridge Neuroscience Strategic Manager. Cambridge Neuroscience was established in 2007, and has had funding as a Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) since July 2010. We currently have 780 members including 293 principal investigators across 60 Departments and Institutes. Cambridge Neuroscience promotes communication within the University of Cambridge and affiliated institutions.

General administrative and organisational experience

I run a number of high profile international and national symposia. Biennially, we host a major international symposium held over two days. The Sept ‘15 event focused on ‘Imaging the Nervous System’ with a programme of 25 lectures. These symposia attract between 400 and 500 delegates, about half of whom come from outside Cambridge. At a national level, we hold an annual Seminar for 300-400 delegates. These interdisciplinary meetings bring Cambridge Neuroscientists together from across all parts of the University. At an internal level, I have organised a number of interdisciplinary workshops. Early career investigators are encouraged to speak at these workshops along side established principal investigators to promote interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration.

Secretary to the Cambridge Neuroscience Steering Committee (25 academics).

Founder member & Senior Treasurer to CamBRAIN, University of Cambridge Neuroscience Society (~800 members).

Expertise in communication, public outreach, public relations

Daily, my job involves communication skills (web & print based media, newsletter bulletins, social media). I act as a central connecting point between Cambridge academics and many different internal & external entities (Comm’s Office, Centre for Science & Policy, charities, industry, local group representative for Cambridge with BNA).

Cambridge neuroscientists are involved in a wide variety of public engagement projects, which I help support (e. g. BBC Radio & television, Naked Scientists, ‘Pint of Science’, Hay Festival, Cambridge Festival of Ideas and Science Festival, Latitude, BNA Festival of Neuroscience). Personally, I have organised 7 Public Lectures (>300 delegates), image competitions, historical exhibitions, Café Scientifique events, judged Cambridge FameLab (‘13-‘16), school visits, summer school programmes, tutor & course organiser at University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education, many projects with CamBRAIN, Cambridge TV & Naked Scientists.

Research interests

My research career focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration and abnormal behaviour in HD and the role that changes in synaptic modulators play in neurological illness. My current post as the Cambridge Neuroscience coordinator & strategic manager is a highly valued resource, acting as a responsive central point of contact and providing internal cohesion and external visibility through a website, newsletters and events. I know my academic community well and can act as an objective intermediary who is able to facilitate interdisciplinary interaction and support the development of new partnerships. My active management of websites, researcher directories, fundraising, budget management, events programmes and cross-disciplinary facilitation enable mutual interests to be identified & new relationships to be built.


Glynn, D., Skillings, E. A. Morton, A. J. Detecting cognitive deficits: A comparison of Touchscreen and 2-choice swim tank using an allelic series of HD mice (2015) J Neurosci Methods. 2015 doi: 10.1016/j. jneumeth. 2015.07.016.

Glynn, D., Morton, A. J. Book chapter Synaptic Dysfunction in Huntington’s disease in ‘Folding for the synapse’ Springer 2011, A. Wyttenbach and V. O’Connor (eds. ).

Wood, N. I., Glynn, D., Morton A. J. (2011) "Brain training" improves cognitive performance and survival in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease 2011 Neurobiol of Disease 42, 427-437.

Glynn, D., Gibson, H. E. et al. (2010) Clorgyline-mediated reversal of neurological deficits in a Complexin 2 knockout mouse. Human Molecular Genetics 19, 3402-3412.

Morton A. J., Glynn, D. et al. (2009) Paradoxical delay in the onset of disease caused by super-long CAG repeat expansions in R6/2 mice. Neurobiology of Disease. 33, 331-341.

Glynn, D., Reim, K., Brose, N. and Morton, A. J. (2007) Depletion of Complexin II does not affect disease progression in a mouse model of Huntington’s disease (HD) ; Support for role for complexin II in behavioural pathology in a mouse model of HD. Brain Research Bulletin 72 (2-3), 108-120.

Glynn, D., Sizemore, R. J., and Morton, A. J. (2007) Early motor development is abnormal in Complexin 1 knockout mice. Neurobiology of Disease 25, 483-495.

Glynn, D., Drew, C. J., Reim, K., Brose, N. and Morton, A. J. (2005) Profound ataxia in Complexin I knockout mice masks a complex phenotype that includes exploratory and habituation deficits. Human Molecular Genetics 14, 2369-2385.

Glynn, D., Bortnick, R. A., and Morton, A. J. (2003) Complexin II is essential for normal neurological function in mice. Human Molecular Genetics 12, 2431-2448.

Dervila Glynn

Cambridge Neuroscience Coordinator and Strategic Manager,
Department of Pharmacology,
University of Cambridge,
Tennis Court Road,
CB2 1PD, UK.