Kevin Whitehead

Colleges, School and Institutes

Willingness to take PhD students


PhD projects

Kevin Whitehead’s research is aimed at identifying critical pathological changes in nociceptive signalling underlying chronic pain states. The focus is on neurochemical plasticity, primarily utilising microdialysis for in vivo measurement of the release of neuroactive substances in rodent brain and spinal cord, the latter an approach unique in the UK. This is approached through whole animal studies for which he holds a Home Office project licence. His work has attracted funding from BBSRC and Arthritis Research Campaign as well as numerous collaborations with the pharmaceutical industry (GlaxoSmithKline, Pfizer, Organon, Parke Davis and NovoNordisk).

His studies employ models of chronic neuropathic and inflammatory pain and painful visceral hypersensitivity. Moreover, the development of ‘high flux’ microdialysis allied to multiplexed immunoassay (Luminex®) technology allows monitoring of cytokine/chemokine release and a novel window onto neuroinflammatory mechanisms. Dr Whitehead has supervised five postgraduate research students towards their doctorates.