User:Gareth Leng

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I am Gareth Leng, [1] From 2007-2015 I was Head of the School of Biomedical Sciences in the College of Medical and Veterinary Sciences at the University of Edinburgh; now I have completed my term and am returning to normal academic duties as Professor of Experimental Physiology. I am a former President of the International Neuroendocrine Federation, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and a former editor-in-chief of The Journal of Neuroendocrinology.

My core academic expertise is in Neuroscience, Endocrinology and Physiology. My research interests are described here


I gained a first class Honours degree in Mathematics from the University of Warwick in 1974, then took an MSc in "Neurocommunications" at the University of Birmingham in 1975, staying on to complete a PhD in Auditory Physiology in 1977. In October 1977 I was appointed by Barry Cross, then Director of the Institute of Animal Physiology (at Cambridge UK, now The Babraham Institute) as a project leader in his research group, in Neuroendocrinology. I remained at Babraham until 1994, when I moved to the University of Edinburgh to take up the newly-established Chair of Experimental Physiology.

From 1993-2000 I was a member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of Physiology, and for the first two years of that period was Press Secretary for the Journal, and a Committee member of the Physiological Society. I was editor-in-chief of the Journal of Neuroendocrinology from 1997 to 2004.

My research has been mainly on the hypothalamic control of hormone secretion, and has involved electrophysiological studies of neurones and networks, but has involved some computational modeling, studies of gene expression, and studies of behaviour.

At Edinburgh, my teaching has been to both science and medical students, and I have served terms as Chairs of the Honours Exam Boards in Physiology, Neuroscience, and Medical Biology. The Medical Biology Honours programme is a new programme in the organisation of which I have been deeply involved. This programme of final year undergraduate studies analyses major contemporary health "problems" and studies the role of science in developing new approaches to them Accordingly an important part of that programme is in exploring the scientific foundations of medicine, and in how to objectively evaluate the benefits and risks of health interventions. An important part of that course involves studying how "popular" images of science and medicine arise through media coverage, and in assessing their reliability.

I have a particular interest therefore in controversial issues in science and medicine, and in how to approach these rigorously and objectively.

Selected publications

  • Tobin VA, Hashimoto H, Wacker DW, Takayanagi Y, Langnaese K, Caquineau C, Noack J, Landgraf R, Onaka T, Leng G, Meddle SL, Engelmann M, Ludwig M. (2010) An intrinsic vasopressin system in the olfactory bulb is involved in social recognition. Nature 464:413-7. PMID 20182426
  • Leng G, Brown C, Sabatier N, Scott V.Population dynamics in vasopressin cells.Neuroendocrinology 88:160-72. PMID 18667805 4.
  • Leng G, Onaka T, Caquineau C, Sabatier N, Tobin VA, Takayanagi Y (2008)Oxytocin and appetite Prog Brain Res 170:137-51.
  • Rossoni E, Feng J, Tirozzi B, Brown D, Leng G, Moos F (2008) Emergent synchronous bursting of oxytocin neuronal network. PLoS Computational Biology Jul 18;4(7):e1000123. PMID 18636098
  • Ludwig M, Leng G (2006) Dendritic peptide release and peptide-dependent behaviours. Nat Rev Neurosci 7:126-36 PMID 16429122
  • Ludwig M, Sabatier N, Bull PM, Landgraf R, Dayanithi G, Leng G. (2002) Intracellular calcium stores regulate activity-dependent neuropeptide release from dendrites. Nature 418: 85-89 PMID 12097911
  • Johnstone LE, Fong TM, Leng G (2006) Neuronal activation in the hypothalamus and brainstem during feeding in rats. Cell Metabolism 4:313-21. PMID 17011504
  • Sabatier N, Caquineau C, Bull P, Douglas AJ, Dayanithi G, Guan XM, Jiang M, Van der Ploeg L, Leng G (2003) Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone stimulates oxytocin release from the dendrites of hypothalamic neurons while inhibiting oxytocin release from their terminals in the neurohypophysis Journal of Neuroscience 23: 10351-10358
  • Leng G, Meddle SL, Douglas AJ (2008) Oxytocin and the maternal brain. Current Opinion in Pharmacology 8:731-4. PMID: 18656552
  • Leng G, Ludwig M (2008) Neurotransmitters and peptides: whispered secrets and public announcements. Journal of Physiology 586:5625-32. PMID 18845614

On Citizendium

On Citizendium I have contributed to many articles on diverse topics. I was the main author on the approved articles Scientific Method and Oxytocin and a lessor contributor to others, including Biology, Chiropractic, Life and Homeopathy.