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Dr Lynsey Atkinson

Dr Lynsey Atkinson BSc (Hons), PhD, PGCHE

Dr Lynsey Atkinson

Dr Lynsey A Atkinson
BSc (Hons), PhD, PGCHE

Principal Lecturer in Biomedical Science

Department of Life & Sports Sciences

Faculty of Engineering & Science

I joined the University of Greenwich in October 2014 as a lecturer in Biomedical Science. This is my first academic post following several years of working within NHS and private hospital pathology departments including clinical biochemistry and histology.

My doctorate studies at Medway School of Pharmacy investigated the role of a potassium background (K2P) channel in the entrainment of mammalian circadian rhythms. This was conducted under the supervision of Dr Gurprit Lall and Professor Alistair Mathie.

I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (FHEA) and a Fellow of the Institute of Biomedical Science (FIBMS).

Programme Leader
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science
BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science
BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science (Extended)

Course Leader
Cellular and Molecular Pathology (Level 5 and 6)
Haematology and Blood Transfusion (L6)
Introduction to Biology (L3)
Introduction to Medical Science (L4)

Course Participation
Fundamental Biology and Physiology
Haematology and Blood Transfusion.
Introduction to Biology
Introduction to Medical Science
Physiological Systems and Regulation
Practical and Professional Skills in Life Science
Project in Life Science.

Living organisms have a biological clock aligning behaviour and physiology to the Earth's day-night cycle. In mammals, this is a highly sophisticated arrangement with a central pacemaker located in the suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN) of the hypothalamus adjusting and regulating numerous peripheral clocks within all major organ systems to maintain synchrony with the outside world. It is not surprising; therefore, that many biological processes exhibit an approximate 24-hour (circadian) rhythm.

Light is the principal signal for clock alignment, entering the biological system exclusively via the eyes. Here environmental light is decoded for vision but also circadian entrainment (sleep-wake cycle alignment). The decoding of light by the retina and associated signaling pathways of the SCN rely on neuronal excitation mechanisms, achieved through changes in membrane potential from a resting state stabilised by background K2P channels.

To date, my research has highlighted a role for the TASK-3 K2P channel in re-entrainment of circadian rhythms to changing light conditions including low levels of illumination, changes in time-zone and seasonal adjustment. This knowledge may be of future use in designing K2P-targeted therapies for the treatment of clock-associated conditions such as jetlag and seasonal affective disorder.

Funded research projects

My current research continues to examine K2P channel function within the biological clock and associated nuclei, along with the effects of aging on circadian rhythm regulation.

I also have a keen interest in human behaviour associated with circadian rhythms, particularly how an individual's chronotype may influences preferences in working and learning.

WALSH, J.M., ATKINSON, L.A., CORLETT, S.A., & LALL, G.S (2014). An Insight into Light as a Chronobiological Therapy in Affective Disorders.  ChronoPhysiology and Therapy, 4: 79-85.

LALL, G. S., ATKINSON, L. A., CORLETT, S. A., BROADBRIDGE, P. J. & BONSALL, D. R. (2012). Circadian entrainment and its role in depression: a mechanistic review. Journal of Neural Transmission, 119: 1085-96.

Browse our publications database

Poster presented by L.A. Atkinson:

'K2P channels play a key role in defining irradiance detection and circadian photoentrainment....'

Authors: L.A. Atkinson, A.A. Mathie, G.S. Lall

Society for Neuroscience annual conference 2013, San Diego.

Browse our publications database