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The Team

Prof Jo NeillProf Jo Neill is the CEO and founder of b-neuro and has over 30 years' experience in developing animal models for psychiatric diseases. She has been trained and employed in pharmaceutical industry and university environments in the UK and Europe.

She graduated from the University of Bath with a BSc in Pharmacology in 1986, followed by a PhD in Psychopharmacology from the University of Birmingham in 1990. She has experience of working in pharmaceutical companies including Merrell Dow in Strasbourg (1984-85), Merck Sharp and Dohme in Harlow (1986), and at the Mario Negri Istituto di Ricerche in Milan (1990).

Jo has published over 90 articles in peer-reviewed journals, presents regularly at expert scientific meetings, contributes to expert panels, and is considered a leading expert in this field. She provides the scientific expertise core to the b-neuro business, leading the cognition testing service. She is Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Manchester.


Dr Ben GraysonDr Ben Grayson is the CSO and co-founder of b-neuro.

Dr Grayson has more than 20 years of behavioural expertise in Neuro-pharmacology at the University of Bradford, and more recently at the University of Manchester.

Ben received his MPhil at the University of Bradford in 2003, and successfully defended his PhD thesis in May 2012.

Jo and Ben have worked together for over 15 years.


Dr Nagi IdrisDr Nagi Idris is a post-doctoral research associate at b-neuro.

He graduated from the University of Benghazi, Libya in 1996 with a DPharm, and afterwards gained his GSK sponsored PhD (2005) in Neuropharmacology at the University of Bradford.


Giovanni PoddaGiovanni Podda is a research technician and PhD student part-sponsored by GW pharmaceuticals.

He graduated from the University of Cagliari in 2012 with an MSc in Neuropsychobiology.


Syeda MunniSyeda Munni is a research technician part-sponsored by the Rosetrees Trust.

She has been working with us since 2016, after graduating with a Master’s degree in Neuroscience from the University of Manchester in 2015.


Matthew BurgessMatthew Burgess is our latest recruit, officially joining b-neuro in July as a research technician.

Matthew graduated from the University of Manchester on Friday 20th July with a 1st class honours Master’s degree in Pharmacology.


Tom MetcalfTom Metcalf is a 12-month placement student from the University of Bath.

Tom is studying for BSc in pharmacology and will graduate in 2019.


Toby AaronsToby Aarons is a part-time research technician.

Toby graduated from Manchester Metropolitan University with a 1st class honours degree followed by a Master’s degree in 2017. He starts a PhD at Salford University in October 2018.


Dr Michael HarteDr Michael Harte has over 15 years' experience in the field of neuropharmacology, specialising in research relating to the characterisation of neurotransmitter pathways involved in cognitive dysfunction.

Michael graduated from University College Dublin with a BSc in Physiology in 1999. He gained his PhD from University College Dublin (2003), for work utilising microdialysis to characterise pathways involved in cognitive function. He worked as a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Sheffield (2003–2005), and Queens University Belfast (2005–2008) on projects investigating neurochemical and pathological deficits in animal models of schizophrenia.

Dr Harte is Senior Lecturer in the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry at the University of Manchester. He provides the scientific expertise for the b-neuro biomarker testing service.


Dr John GiggDr John Gigg has over 30 years' experience in the field of neuroscience, and specialises in the neurophysiology of the rodent hippocampal formation in vivo. He incorporates various cognitive tasks to measure object, spatial and episodic-like memory in rodents, and has recently started using touchscreen operant chambers to probe aspects of executive function in mice. The focus for these studies has been on both normal brain function and compromised networks in animal models of abnormal states, including Alzheimer's, schizophrenia and ADHD.

He gained his PhD from the Open University, UK (1991), for work determining the electrophysiological correspondents of memory formation for passive avoidance learning in forebrain regions of the day-old chick (supervised by Prof Steven Rose). His postdoctoral positions have included fellowships at University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland) and the University of Newcastle (UK).

Dr Gigg is a Lecturer in the Division of Neuroscience and Experimental Psychology at the University of Manchester. He provides scientific expertise for the b-neuro in vivo electrophysiology and behavioural phenotyping service.