Dr Jamie Walker
MRC Research Fellow
Skills Development Fellowship Vision
A successful Skills Development Fellowship would be based around a novel and exciting research question that is likely further our understanding of physiology and drive novel therapeutic approaches. A successful candidate would have an initial idea that would form the basis for their project – the approach required to tackle their research question would be guided through interactions with their sponsors. A successful candidate would be largely autonomous, but would receive advice from their sponsors as and when they feel they need it. Successful candidates would use the Skills Development Fellowship not only to carry out their research, but also to expand their personal expertise (for example through training in new methods/techniques) and form collaborations with international leaders in their field.
Applied Mathematics (Dynamical Systems) and Neuroendocrinology
My research interests are centred around complex dynamical processes in neuroendocrinology, with a particular focus on the physiology of stress. Glucocorticoid hormones are critical for the body’s response to stress, and their pulsatile pattern of secretion from the adrenal glands changes in different physiological as well as pathological conditions. It is important to understand why this happens because these pulsatile hormone patterns are important for the dynamic regulation of gene expression, as well as for more rapid non-genomic effects of glucocorticoids on neuronal function and behavioural activity.
In my research, I am studying the dynamic mechanisms that control this pulsatile mode of hormone secretion, and how these mechanisms can change leading to altered hormonal output. I employ a range of techniques, including mathematical modelling and numerical analysis methods, as well as in vitro and in vivo experimental biology techniques.
- Spiga F, Zavala E, Walker JJ, Zhao Z, Terry JR, Lightman SL. Dynamic responses of the adrenal steroidogenic regulatory network. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 114(31):E6466-E6474 (2017).
- Walker JJ, Spiga F, Waite E, Zhao Z, Kershaw Y, Terry JR, Lightman SL. The origin of glucocorticoid hormone oscillations. PLoS Biol. 10(6), e1001341 (2012).
- Walker JJ, Terry JR, Lightman SL. Origin of ultradian pulsatility in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Proc. R. Soc. B. 277, 1627–1633 (2010).
- Professor Stafford Lightman and Dr Francesca Spiga (University of Bristol)
- Professor Mike Shipston, Dr Paul Le Tissier, and Dr Nicola Romano (University of Edinburgh)
- Professor Patrice Mollard (Institute for Functional Genomics, Montpellier, France)
Research Group Connections