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Joanna Neill


  • Professor of Psychopharmacology, Pharmacy

Personal profile


2011 - 2014 REF Sub-Panel A3 Member

2007 - 2011 

External examiner: The University of Nottingham, Neuroscience 2012-2016 and University of Brighton, Pharmacy 2013-2015

2016-2018 President of British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP)

2006 - 2013 Member of Council for BAP

2010-2013 Meetings Secretary for British Association for Psychopharmacology (BAP)

Research interests

Jo has been conducting research in psychopharmacology for almost 30 years specifically in the areas of drug dependence, ingestive behaviour including mechanisms of antipsychotic-induced weight gain, cognition and schizophrenia, and sex differences in psychopharmacology. Jo’s expertise is in development and validation of preclinical models of psychiatric disorders. Most recently she is collaborating on research projects investigating cognitive function and cognitive remediation therapy in ADHD and 1st episode psychosis patients and effects of gonadal steroids on cognitive function across pregnancy. Jo has developed and refined a preclinical model and several tests of cognitive deficit and negative symptoms in schizophrenia for evaluation of novel targets and identification of translational biomarkers, in collaboration with Michael Harte, who has also just re-located to Manchester. The has led to establishment of a University based CRO, b-neuro ( Jo’s research team currently consists of 4 full-time PhD students (with 3 new PhDs to start in 2013) 2 research technicians and a laboratory manager and post-doctoral researcher. We present our latest findings at 5 conferences (on average) per year. Collaborations with several major competing Pharmaceutical Companies including GSK (2001-2011) Lundbeck, Janssen (J&J), Forest, Merz, Takeda, Eisai, Roche, Abbott and leading academics in the US, Europe and UK. Key Opinion Leader for new psychiatric drugs for Servier, Roche and Organon. Speaker for ESSWAP since 2005 (European Summer School for Whole Animal Pharmacology, Netherlands). Jo has organized symposia at National and International conferences regularly since 2010 and makes frequent International platform presentations to present her research work. Jo’s most recent research work is developing preclinical models of ADHD, Alzheimer’s disease and refining tests of negative symptoms in schizophrenia.


Jo Neill is Professor of Psychopharmacology in the Manchester Pharmacy School at the University of Manchester since January 2013, previously Professor at the University of Bradford. She received a BSc in Pharmacology from the University of Bath in 1986 and a PhD in Psychopharmacology from the University of Birmingham in 1990. Jo worked in the pharmaceutical industry at Merrell Dow and Merck Sharp and Dohme and at the Mario Negri Istituto di Richerche in Milan before moving into academia. She has been conducting research in psychopharmacology for almost 30 years, specifically in the area of development of preclinical models of psychiatric disorders. She has authored over 70 peer-reviewed publications in top scientific journals and is currently the meetings secretary of the British Association for Psychopharmacology, associate editor for Neuroscience Letters and a panel member of the Research Excellence Framework by Higher Education Funding Council for England.


1986  B.Sc.  Upper division, second class honours degree in Pharmacology, University of Bath

1990  PhD    Psychopharmacology, University of Birmingham, Department of Psychology

My collaborations

  • Dr Michael Harte and Jo collaborate on most of the projects described above and have formed b-neuro together with Dr Ben Grayson
  • Professor Kay Marshall and Jo have collaborated over a long period on a variety of projects investigating the role of gonadal steroids in cognitive function, and side-effects of psychiatric drugs, such as antipsychotics.
  • Professor Wael El-Deredy and Jo will work together investigating the role of dopamine in attention. They have just secured their first joint PhD student!
  • Steve Williams and Jo will work together investigating neuronal biomarkers for cognitive deficits in schizophrenia and other disorders with Professor Bill Deakin.
  • Professor Ian Stratford and Jo will work together developing models of cognitive deficits associated with cancer therapies and testing novel cognitive enhancing agents.

Jo has several external collaborators including Dr Colin Hendrie at Leeds University School of Psychology, Dr Frank Tarazi at McLean Medical School, Harvard, USA, Dr Mo Shahid at Orion Pharmaceuticals, Dr Jorgen Scheel-Kruger at Aarhus University, Dr Anita Brewin, consultant clinical psychologist/clinical lead Bradford and Airedale Early Intervention serviceand many industry colleagues.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Lydia Becker Institute


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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