University of Reading
School of Pharmacy (Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience Group)
Prof. Whalley is a Professor of Neuropharmacology and has worked at the Reading School of Pharmacy, University of Reading since 2005. His research interests lie in neuronal hyperexcitability states, their consequential disorders (e.g. epilepsy) and the preclinical development of new treatments for such disorders. A significant component of this research has been the development of new disease models, including the refinement of animal models of disease and the replacement of animals in medical research, with a particular focus on the application of electrophysiological techniques.
Prof. Whalley's work has identified cellular mechanisms underlying the effects of anticonvulsants in clinical use or currently in clinical trials (e.g. UCB Pharmaceuticals), discovered non-psychoactive, anticonvulsant components of cannabis (GW Pharmaceuticals, Otsuka Pharmaceuticals and University of Reading Endowment Trust Fund), investigated cannabinoid effects upon appetite and feeding behaviours (Reading Endowment Trust Fund), anti-ataxic actions of phytocannabinoids (Ataxia UK) and the development of novel electrophysiological screening methods for candidate PET ligands (GE Healthcare). Two components of cannabis that were identified and characterised by Prof. Whalley are now being developed in Phase II and Phase III human clinical trials as treatments for drug-resistant paediatric epilepsies.
In addition to his work being featured in New Scientist, national newspapers and an exhibition at the Science Museum (London), Prof. Whalley has also appeared in, and advised on, a number of scientific television programmes. His work also comprised Impact Case Studies for the REF2014 exercise. Prof. Whalley is a member of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.
Prof. Whalley's research has been funded by grants from the pharmaceutical industry (e.g. GW Pharmaceuticals, UCB Pharmaceuticals), charities (e.g. Ataxia UK, CURE), BBSRC, EPSRC and NC3Rs.