Associate Professor
Swansea University Medical School
Telephone: (01792) 295066
Email: JavaScript is required to view this email address.
Room: Academic Office - 328
Third Floor
Institute of Life Science 1
Singleton Campus

I am interested in the biology of neuroinflammation and study the disease mechanisms of multiple sclerosis. Although great strides have been made in treating those people with the early form of the disease we still do not understand why some people will experience a more severe, progressive disease. Our work looks at the pathomechanisms of multiple sclerosis using patient samples, cell cultures and post-mortem brain tissues.

We have a limited number of places in our group for summer students, visiting researchers and volunteer students to gain experience in research. We also have permanent positions available from time to time, which are advertised on the University website and elsewhere. For more information about joining our group please get in touch (o.w.howell@swansea.ac.uk).

Areas of Expertise

  • Multiple sclerosis research
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neuropathology
  • Bio-banking

Publications

  1. & Inflammatory intrathecal profiles and cortical damage in multiple sclerosis. Annals of Neurology
  2. & Cortical grey matter demyelination can be induced by elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines in the subarachnoid space of MOG-immunized rats. Brain
  3. & Tissue microarray methodology identifies complement pathway activation and dysregulation in progressive multiple sclerosis. Brain Pathology
  4. & Complement is activated in progressive multiple sclerosis cortical grey matter lesions. Journal of Neuroinflammation 13(1)
  5. & Extensive grey matter pathology in the cerebellum in multiple sclerosis is linked to inflammation in the subarachnoid space. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology 41(6), 798-813.
  6. & Complement activation in multiple sclerosis plaques: an immunohistochemical analysis. Acta Neuropathologica Communications 2(1), 53
  7. & Molecular pathology of Multiple Sclerosis lesions reveals a heterogeneous expression pattern of genes involved in oligodendrogliogenesis. Experimental Neurology
  8. & Measurement of soluble CD59 in CSF in demyelinating disease: Evidence for an intrathecal source of soluble CD59. Multiple Sclerosis Journal
  9. & Meningeal inflammation plays a role in the pathology of primary progressive multiple sclerosis. Brain 135(10), 2925-2937.
  10. & Meningeal inflammation is widespread and linked to cortical pathology in multiple sclerosis. Brain 134(9), 2755-2771.

See more...

Teaching

  • PM-132 Eukaryotic Cell Biology

    This module will provide a broad introduction to fundamental concepts in Eukaryotic cell biology investigating the origins of the cell, cell structure and specialised cells and cells in disease. There will be a general focus on human cells throughout with reference to other organisms when needed. Students will gain practical experience in identification, differentiation of cells from different human and animal species.

  • PM-132C Bioleg Celloedd Ewcaryotig

    Bydd y modiwl hwn yn darparu cyflwyniad bras i gysyniadau sylfaenol ym maes bioleg celloedd Ewcaryotig, gan ymchwilio i darddiad y gell, strwythur y gell a chelloedd arbenigol a chelloedd mewn clefyd. Bydd ffocws cyffredinol ar gelloedd dynol drwy gydol y modiwl, gan gyfeirio at organebau eraill yn ├┤l yr angen. Bydd myfyrwyr yn cael profiad ymarferol o nodi celloedd, gwahaniaethu rhwng gwahanol gelloedd dynol a rhywogaethau o anifeiliaid.

  • PM-257 Neuroscience

    In order to help students understand the biological basis for behavioural neuroscience and neurological disorders, this module seeks to integrate the multidisciplinary sciences - for example, anatomy, physiology and biochemistry - that have combined to build the emerging field of neuroscience. The aim is to gain a mechanistic and holistic knowledge of the nervous system that builds from the molecular, cellular and developmental, to the systems level. In addition to exploring normal function, this module will introduce common disorders of the central and peripheral nervous systems in an integrated way. Students will be guided in exploring the scientific evidence around what is known and unknown and will be introduced to current research findings in the scientific literature.

  • PM-304 Biomolecular Research Project

    *

  • PM-304C Prosiect Ymchwil Biofoleciwlaidd

    Profiad gwaith mewn labordy ymchwil.

  • PM-334 Biochemistry Literature Review and Communication

    Students will acquire a detailed knowledge of one topical research area of key importance to their particular degree scheme.

  • PM-344 Capstone Project

    The aim of this module is to provide a capstone experience to students┬┐ learning, through participating in their own enquiry-based research project. Depending on the student's employability strand within the programme, the project may be laboratory, data, or education-based, but it will always involve a research question that is drawn from the literature, focused on a topic relevant to medical science. It will ask a novel research question and involve the critical analysis of research findings. Students will refine their oral and written communication skills to a graduate level through creating an introductory presentation on the project background, and a written dissertation and oral presentation on their research conclusions.

  • PM-347 Human Immunopathology

    The module aims to provide students with a greater understanding of the human immune system and the causes of a range of diseases associated with immune dysfunction including autoimmune diseases, metabolic disorders and neurological conditions.

  • PMLM05 LC/MS Applications IV: Medical and life sciences

    Students will have the opportunity to gain extensive knowledge of the role mass spectrometry plays in biomarker discovery (proteins and small molecules).with its application to clinical diagnosis including the analysis of carbohydrates, glycoproteins and nucleic acids using activity-based proteomics and techniques for affinity pull-down.

Supervision

  • The importance of cortical lesions in multiple sclerosis. (current)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Prof Mark Rees
  • THE INNATE IMMUNE RESPONSE AND CORTICAL PATHOLOGY IN PROGRESSIVE MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Mark Rees
  • Activation and Regulation of complement in Multiple Sclerosis (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Prof Mark Rees
  • Preventing nerve cell loss in Alzheimer's disease: a role for the orexigenic hormone ghrelin? (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Alwena Morgan
    Other supervisor: Dr Jeffrey Davies
  • 'Cortical grey matter demyelination and meningeal inflammation in a cohort of short duration Multiple Sclerosis.' (awarded 2018)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Prof Mark Rees
  • 'The innate immune system in progressive Multiple Sclerosis: a role for complement and microglia in cortical neuropathology.' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    MRes