Professor John Jefferys FMedSc


Professor of Neuroscience

Neurotrauma and Neurodegeneration

Contact details

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


  • FMedSc
  • PhD (Physiology) UCL
  • BSc (Physiology), UCL


  • BMedSc 1st, 2nd and 3rd year (Neurobiology of the Brain) lectures, and 3rd year project supervision
  • MB 2nd year lectures and 3rd year lead special project “Epilepsy”
  • BDS lectures
  • Module Outside the Main Discipline “Good Brain Bad Brain” 1 and 2
  • Supervision of summer students.
  • MSc Neuropsychiatry

Postgraduate supervision

Lead PhD supervisor two students and co-supervisor for three students


The operation of neuronal networks is fundamental to understanding brain function and malfunction. Prof Jefferys is interested in synaptic and network function in the hippocampus and neocortex, and the roles of synaptic networks in generating emergent brain activities. Current research on epilepsy concerns (a) cellular and synaptic mechanisms of seizures and seizure remission in temporal lobe epilepsy, and (b) high frequency electrical activity preceding seizures. Current research on cortical coherent oscillations concerns their weakening in models of learning disability, and particularly on synaptic malfunctions that link the direct molecular consequence of the gene mutation and the impairment of cognitive function in the whole organism. Prof Jefferys’ research on prion disease stems from abnormal EEG activity seen in patients with CJD, but has lead to identification of roles of normal prion protein in regulating intracellular calcium concentrations, and the effects of pathogenic (scrapie) prion protein on synaptic and axonal function. Finally Prof Jefferys’ interest in electric fields as a means of modifying neuronal function has contributed to refining our understanding of the brain’s sensitivity to external electric fields, as experienced close to powerlines.

Other activities

  • Chairman of MDS College Library Committee
  • Head of Neuronal Networks group, CEM
  • External examiner: University of Oxford, MSc in Neuroscience; University of Cambridge, Natural Sciences Part 2 Neuroscience
  • Editor: Journal of Neuroscience Methods; Journal of Neural Engineering
  • Scientific Advisory Committee Epilepsy Research UK
  • Member ANR (French National Research Agency) Evaluation Committee in Neuroscience and 2011 site visiting team for an INSERM unit.
  • Teacher: MRCPsych course, South Birmingham Mental Health Trust: “neurophysiology” (annual), MSc Epilepsy, Institute of Psychiatry (King’s College London): “experimental models of epilepsy” (annual), National specialist registrar course in Epilepsy: “basic neurophysiology” (biannual), National specialist registrar course in Clinical Neurophysiology: “physiology of epileptogenesis” (2008) and Calman lectures: Birmingham (2008), Leicester (2007).


Jiruska P, Csicsvari J, Powell AD, Fox JE, Chang WC, Vreugdenhil M, Li X, Palus M, Bujan AF, Dearden RW & Jefferys JGR (2010). High-frequency network activity, global increase in neuronal activity and synchrony expansion precede epileptic seizures in vitro. J.Neurosci. 30:5690-5701.

Jiruska P, Finnerty GT, Powell AD, Lofti N, Cmejla R & Jefferys JGR (2010) High-frequency network activity in a model of non-lesional temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain 133:1380-1390.

Khelfaoui M, Alice P, Powell AD, Valnegri P, Cheong KW, Blandin Y, Passafaro M, Jefferys JGR, Chelly J & Billuart P (2009) Inhibition of RhoA pathway rescues the endocytosis defects in Oligophrenin1 mouse model of mental retardation. Hum. Mol. Genet. 18: 2575-2583 18: 2575-2583

Jiruska P, Tomasek M, Netuka D, Otahal J, Jefferys JGR, Li X & Marusic P (2008) Clinical impact of high-frequency seizure onset zone in a case of bi-temporal epilepsy. Epileptic. Disord. 10: 231-238 10: 231-238

Powell AD, Toescu EC, Collinge J & Jefferys JGR (2008) Alterations in Ca2+-buffering in prion-null mice: association with reduced afterhyperpolarizations in CA1 hippocampal neurons. J.Neurosci. 28: 3877-3886 28: 3877-3886

Ratté S, Prescott SA, Collinge J & Jefferys JGR (2008) Hippocampal bursts caused by changes in NMDA receptor-dependent excitation in a mouse model of variant CJD. Neurobiol. Dis. 32: 96-104 32: 96-104

Deans JK, Powell AD & Jefferys JGR (2007) Sensitivity of coherent oscillations in rat hippocampus to AC electric fields. J Physiol 583: 555-565 583: 555-565

Li X, Cui D, Jiruska P, Fox JE, Yao X & Jefferys JGR (2007) Synchronization measurement of multiple neuronal populations based on correlation matrix analysis. J. Neurophysiol. 98: 3341-334898: 3341-3348

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