Professor Ian M. Stanford

Prof I Stanford


Professor of Neuroscience

School of Life & Health Sciences
Aston University
Aston Triangle
Birmingham B4 7ET

email: i.m.stanford@aston.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 4015

Room MB351b

Research Group

Basic and Applied Neurosciences

Research Centre

Aston Brain Centre

Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA)  


Member of the Pharmacy and Biology Teaching Programmes   

Teaching Activity on the MPharm Programme

PH1401: Resting membrane potential, action potential, synaptic physiology,CNS anatomy, spinal reflexes.           
PH3601 (Module coordinator): Synaptic transmission, dopamine and movement disorders of the basal ganglia, schizophrenia and neuroleptics.


Self funded and Overseas Bursary PhD Studentships available on topics including:

  • Stimulation of the motor cortex for symptomatic relief in Parkinson's Disease
  • Is the motor cortex resistant to epilepsy?
  • Studies on GABA in globus pallidus
More details on these and other Postgraduate opportunities >

Career History

  • 2013 - to date Professor of Neuroscience
  • 2009 - to date  Associate Dean for Research & Enterprise (LHS)
  • 2007 to 2009  Associate Director of Research and Head of Biomedical Sciences.
  • 2007 - 2013 Reader in Neurophysiology Aston University.
  • 2005 – 2007 Research Convenor – Physiology and Pharmacology.
  • 2004 – 2007 Senior Lecturer in Pharmacology, Aston University.
  • 2004 – 2010 MRC Career Development Fellow.
  • 2002 – 2004 Lecturer in Pharmacology, Aston University.
  • 1997 – 2001 Wellcome Trust Career Development Fellow, University of Birmingham.
  • 1992 – 1997 Post-doctoral Research Fellow, University of Birmingham.1989 – 1992 PhD, University of Southampton.
  • 1987 – 1989 BSc (Hons), University of Southampton.

Research Interests


  • Electrophysiological, morphological and neurochemical studies on neurones of the basal ganglia.

  • Functional diversity in GABA inhibitory connectivity in the GP.

  • Synchronous neuronal oscillations in primary motor cortex.

  • Integration of basic and clinical neurophysiological methods.

Research Collaborations 

Prof. P.Bolam (MRC Unit, University of Oxford)
Prof. P Furlong (Aston University)
Dr S.D. Hall ( University of Plymouth)
Dr M.G.Lacey (University of Birmingham)
Dr P.J. Magill (MRC Unit, University of Oxford)
Dr M.O'Neill (Eli-Lilly UK)
Dr G.L.Woodhall (Aston University)

Current Funding

Parkinson’s UK  (2011-2014) £177,578
Ian M Stanford, Gavin Woodhall and Stephen Hall
BBSRC 4 YR CASE Studentship - Eli Lilly (2012-2015) £121,573

Recent Publications

  •  Hall S.D., Prokic E.J., McAllister C.J., Ronnqvist K.C., Williams A.C., Yamawaki N., Witton C., Woodhall G.L., Stanford I.M. (2014)
    GABA-mediated changes in inter-hemispheric beta frequency activity in early-stage Parkinson’s disease.
    281: 69-76.

  • Lacey M.G, Gooding-Williams G., Prokic E.J., Stanford I.M., Yamawaki N., Hall S.D., Woodhall G.L. (2014)
    Spike firing and IPSPs in layer V pyramidal neurons during beta oscillations in rat primary motor cortex (M1) in vitro.
    Plos One, 9 (1),  e85109
  • McAllister C.J., Rönnqvist, K.C., Stanford I.M., Woodhall G.L., Furlong P.L., Hall S.D. (2013)
    Oscillatory Beta Activity Mediates Neuroplastic Effects of Motor Cortex Stimulation in Humans
    J. Neurosci. 33 (18): 7919-7927.

  •  Rönnqvist, K.C., McAllister C.J., Woodhall G.L., Stanford I.M., Hall S.D. (2013)
    A Multimodal Perspective on the Composition of Cortical Oscillations.
    Front. Human Neurosci. 7 (132): 1-9.  
  • Yamawaki, N. , Magill, P. J. , Hall, S. , Woodhall, G. & Stanford, I. (2012) 
    Frequency selectivity and dopamine-dependence of plasticity at glutamatergic synapses in the subthalamic nucleus.
    Neuroscience. 203, 1-11

  • Hall S.D., Stanford I.M., Yamawaki N., McAllister C.J., Rönnqvist K.C., Woodhall G.L., Furlong P.L. (2011)
    GABAergic modulation of motor function related neuronal network activity.
    Neuroimage 56(3):1506-1510

  • Gross A., Sims R.E., Swinny J.D., Bolam J.P, Stanford I.M. (2011)
    Differential localization of GABAA receptor subunits in relation to rat striato-pallidal and pallido-pallidal synapses.
    E. J. Neurosci. 33, 868-878.

  • Hall S.D., Yamawaki N.,Fisher A., Clauss R., Woodhall G.L., Stanford I.M. (2010)
    GABA(A) α1-subunit mediated desynchronization of elevated low frequency oscillations alleviates specific dysfunction in stroke – a case report.
    Clin. Neurophys.
    121, 549-555.

  •  Morgan N., Stanford I.M., Woodhall G.L. (2009)
    Functional CB2 type cannabinoid receptors at CNS synapses.
    Neuropharmacology.57, 356-368

  • Sims R.E., Woodhall G.L.,Wilson C.L., Stanford I.M. (2008)
    Functional   characterization of GABAergic pallido-pallidal and striato-pallidal synapses in the rat globus pallidus in vitro.
    E.J. Neurosci. 28, 2401-2408.

  • Morgan N., Stanford I.M., Woodhall G.L. (2008)
    Modulation of network oscillatory activity and GABAergic synaptic transmission by CB1 cannabinoid receptors in the rat medial entorhinal cortex.
    Neural Plasticity 2008: 808564.

  • Loucif AJC, Woodhall GL, Sehirli US, Stanford IM. (2008)
    Depolarisation and suppression of burst firing in the mouse subthalamic nucleus by dopamine D1/D5 receptor activation of a cyclic nucleotide gated non-specific cation conductance.
    Neuropharm 55, 94-105

  • Yamawaki N, Stanford IM, Hall SD, Woodhall GL (2008)
    Pharmacological induced and stimulus evoked rhythmic neuronal oscillatory activity in the primary motor cortex (M1) in vitro.
    151, 386-395

  • Boyes J., Bolam J.P., Shigemoto R. & Stanford I.M. (2007)
    Functional presynoptic HCN channels in the rat globus pallidus.
    European Journal of Neuroscience, Vol. 25, pp. 2081-2092, 2007

  • Wilson C.L., Cash D., Galley K., Chapman H., Lacey M.G. & Stanford I.M. (2006) Subthalamic nucleus neurons in slices from 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetra-hydropyridine (MPTP) lesioned mice show irregular, dopamine-reversible firing pattern changes, but without synchronous activity.
    Neurosci. 143 (2), 565-572.

  • Stanford I.M., Chahal H.S., Kantaria M.A. Loucif, K.C. & Wilson C.L. (2005)
    5-HT induced excitation and inhibition in the subthalamic nucleus: Action at 5-HT2C, 5-HT4, and 5-HT1A receptors.
    Neuropharm. 49(8), 1228-1234.

  • Loucif, K.C., Wilson C.L., Baig R., Lacey M.G. & Stanford I.M. (2005)
    Functional connectivity between the globus pallidus and subthalamic nucleus in a mouse brain slice preparation.
    J. Physiol. 567 (3), 977-987.

  • Stanford I.M., Loucif, K.C, Wilson C.L., Cash D. & Lacey M.G. (2005)
    Limitations of the isolated GP-STN network. In: The Basal Ganglia VIII (Eds. J.P. Bolam, C.A. Ingham and P.J. Magill), Springer Science and Business Media: New York, NY, USA. pp 65-73.

  • Stanford IM (2003)
    Independent neuronal oscillators of the rat globus pallidus.
    J.Neurophysiol. 89 1713-1717.

  • Tofighy A, Abbott A, Centonze D, Cooper AJ, Noor E., Pearce SM, Puntis M, Stanford IM, Wigmore MA, Lacey MG. (2002)
    Excitation by dopamine of rat subthalamic nucleus neurones in vitro - a direct action with unconventional pharmacology.
    Neurosci.116, 157-166.

  • Cooper AJ, and Stanford IM. (2002)
    Calbindin D28-k positive projection neurones and calretinin positive interneurones of the rat globus pallidus.
    Brain Res. 929, 243-251.

  • Brady CA, Stanford IM., Ali I, Lin L, Williams JM, Dubin AE, Hope AG, Barnes NM (2001)
    Pharmacological comparison of human homomeric 5-HT3A receptors versus heteromeric 5-HT3A/3B receptors.
    Neuropharm. 41(2), 282-284

  • Cooper AJ and Stanford IM (2001)
    Dopamine D2 receptor mediated presynaptic inhibition of striatopallidal IPSCs in vitro. Neuropharm. 41(1), 62-71.

  • Cooper AJ and Stanford IM (2000)
    Electrophysiological and morphological characteristics of three subtypes of rat globus pallidus neurones in vitro.
    J. Physiol.
    527.2, 291-304.

  • Stanford IM and Cooper AJ (1999)
    Presynaptic and opioid receptor modulation of GABAA IPSCs in the rat globus pallidus in vitro.
    19(12) 4796-4803.

  • Stanford IM, Traub RD and Jefferys JGR (1998)
    Limbic gamma rhythms.II. Synaptic and intrinsic mechanisms underlying spike doublets in oscillating subicular neurons.
    J.Neurophysiol. 80 (1), 162-71.

  • Colling SB, Stanford IM, Traub RD and Jefferys JGR. (1998)
    Limbic gamma rhythms.I. Phase locked oscillations in hippocampal CA1 and subiculum J.Neurophysiol. 80 (1), 155-161.

  • Whittington MA, Traub RD, Faulkner HJ, Stanford IM and Jefferys JGR (1997) Recurrent excitatory post-synaptic potentials induced by synchronized fast cortical oscillations.
    Proc.Natl.Acad.Sci.USA 94, 12198-12203.

  • Whittington MA, Stanford IM, Colling SB, Jefferys JGR, Traub RD (1997) Spatiotemporal patterns of gamma-frequency oscillations tetanically induced in the rat hippocampal slice.
    J. Physiol 502.3, 591-607.

  • Stanford IM and Lacey MG (1996)
    Differential actions of serotonin, mediated by 5-HT 1B and 5HT2C receptors on GABA mediated synaptic input to rat substantia nigra pars reticulata neurons in vitro J.Neurosci. 16 (23), 7566-7573.

  • Traub RD, Whittington MA, Stanford IM, Jefferys JGR (1996)
    Inteneuron doublet firing allows long range synchrony of gamma frequency neuronal oscillations despite axon conduction delays.
    383, 621-624.

  • Stanford IM and Lacey MG (1996)
    Electrophysiological investigation of adenosine tri-phosphate - sensitive potassium channels in the rat substantia pars reticulata.
    72 (2), 499-509.

  • Rick CE, Stanford IM and Lacey MG (1995)
    Excitation of rat substantia nigra pars reticulata neurones by 5-hydroxytryptamine in vitro: Evidence for a direct action mediated by 5HT2C receptors.
    Neurosci. 69 (3), 903-913.

  • Stanford IM and Lacey MG (1995).
    Regulation of a potassium conductance in rat midbrain dopamine neurons by intracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and the sulphonylureas tolbutamide and glibenclamide.
    J. Neurosci.
    15, 4651-4657.