Prof. Frances Edwards



Australian National University

Max Plank Institute for Biophysical Chemistry

Gottingen, Germany

PhD, Neurophysiology | 1990                                                                                                


University of Sydney

MSc, Pharmacology | 1984


University of Sydney

BSc Hons, Pharmacology | 1980





Dr Frances Edwards graduated in Pharmacology at the University of Sydney, Australia and received her PhD whilst working at the Max-Planck Institute in Germany under the Nobel Prize winner, Prof. Bert Sakmann.

After staying on as a postdoctoral fellow in Sakmann's lab, in 1990 she joined David Colquhoun’s group in Pharmacology at UCL as a Wellcome European Fellow.

After returning to Australia in 1992 Frances held a Queen Elizabeth II Research Fellowship at the University of Sydney from 1993 until 1996.

In 1996 she joined the Department of Physiology at UCL. Until 2010 the focus of the Edwards lab was mechanisms of fast synaptic transmission and the role of dendritic spines in plasticity using electrophysiology and confocal imaging.

In 2010 the research direction largely shifted to research on Alzheimer's disease, studying several transgenic mouse models of human mutations in the amyloid pathway or microtubule-associated protein tau. Recently improved knock-in models have been developed and these are now the focus of the lab.

The approaches have expanded to include a range of molecular biology and immunohistochemical techniques and genetics (in collaboration with John Hardy). 

Along with synaptic changes, the lab is now interested in the role of the immune system in Alzheimer and the interface between amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles as well as developing improved mouse models to address these questions more effectively.


Teaching summary


In 1997, Frances Edwards and Maria Fitzgerald set up the MSc Neuroscience at UCL which Edwards then ran with a series of other colleagues until 2013. This is a highly academic research-based degree exposing about 40 students per year to the most recent neuroscience research from across the whole of UCL in the form of research seminars, journal clubs and an extensive research project. 


Now relieved of this major administrative and teaching load, Frances Edwards still contributes to the MSc and is teaching on a range of different undergraduate course in Neuroscience as well as contributing to the practical lab experience of undergraduate and graduate students.


Tel: 020 7679 3286