Dr Michael Lacey PhD

Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience


Contact details

School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT


Michael Lacey is a Senior Lecturer in Neuroscience, and a member of the Neural Networks group within the School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. He teaches mainly neuroscience and pharmacology to undergraduate students on several different courses, is Module Co-ordinator (in Pharmacology) for the BDS BASHD course, and personal mentor / tutor for MBChB & BMedSc students. He is also Graduate Studies Co-ordinator for Neuroscience, and College QAE lead for PGR research programme, and is a member of the College Misconduct Panel.  He is co-organiser of the Neuroscience Seminar Programme for external speakers.


  • PhD
  • BSc


Michael Lacey graduated from University of Sussex with BSc (Hons) in Neurobiology, followed by a PhD at the University of Bristol in Physiology (1980). During successive postdoctoral positions in Pharmacology Departments at the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine (London) and University of Cambridge, and then Massachussetts Institute of Technology (Boston, USA) and the Vollum Institute, Portland Oregon USA, he developed an expertise and reputation in central nervous system neurophysiology and pharmacology, particularly relating to brain dopamine systems. He returned to Britain in 1989 to join SmithKlineFrench drug discovery research at Welwyn, Herts, before taking a position as Lecturer in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Birmingham in 1991. Here he established an active electrophysiology laboratory for studying functional connectivity in brain basal ganglia structures, and relating findings to understanding of motor function and movement disorders. Current research interests include the mechanisms underlying the development of pathological neural network oscillatory activity in motor cortex, in collaboration with colleagues at Aston University. He is a long-standing member of the British Pharmacological Society, The Physiological Society and the British Neuroscience Association.


  • BMedSc
  • MBChB
  • BDS
  • Physicians Assistant


Cellular neurophysiology and pharmacology; neural networks; brain dopamine systems; basal ganglia function; motor cortex.


Wilson, C.L., Cash, D., Galley, K., Chapman, H., Lacey, M.G. and Stanford, I.M. (2006) Subthalamic Nucleus Neurons in Slices from 1-Methyl-4-Phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-Tetrahydropyridine-Lesioned Mice Show Irregular, Dopamine-Reversible Firing Pattern Changes, but Without Synchronous Activity. Neuroscience143, 565-572.

Loucif, K.C., Wilson, C.L., Baig, R., Lacey, M.G. and Stanford, I.M. (2005) Functional interconnectivity between the globus pallidus and the subthalamic nucleus in the mouse brain slice. Journal of Physiology 567, 977-987.

Wilson, C.L., Puntis,M. & Lacey, M.G. (2004) Overwhelmingly asynchronous firing of rat subthalamic nucleus neurones in brain slices provides little evidence for intrinsic interconnectivity. Neuroscience 123, 187-200.

Tofighy, A., Abbott, A., Centonze, D., Cooper, A.J., Noor, E., Pearce, S.M., Puntis, M., Stanford, I.M., Wigmore, M.A. & Lacey, M.G. (2003) Excitation by dopamine of rat subthalamic nucleus neurones in vitro – a direct action with unconventional pharmacology  Neuroscience116, 157-166.

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