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Dr Mohsen Seifi, Lecturer

Dr Mohsen Seifi


Faculty of Sport, Health and Social Sciences


Mohsen completed his undergraduate degree in BSc (Hons) Pharmacology at the University of Portsmouth in 2011. During this time, he was awarded two individual research studentships to work in Dr Jerome Swinny’s lab, whose passion and aptitude for science inspired him. This was an outstanding event in his life that determined his scientific career. Stimulated by the research he had carried out during his undergraduate studies, he embarked on a PhD in Dr Swinny’s lab investigating the expression and function of various neurotransmitter receptors within the enteric nervous system of the mouse gastrointestinal tract and their plasticity in response to stress and ageing.

After successfully defending his thesis in 2015, Mohsen spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher in Dr Swinny’s lab in Portsmouth. He used a combination of histology, molecular biology, electrophysiology, transgenic animals, and animal behavioural assays to investigate the underlying pathophysiology of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease-induced stress, anxiety and gastrointestinal disorders. He has published his work in several high-impact factor journals, served as a reviewer for such journals and has been invited to present his research around the world.

In 2019, Mohsen joined Solent University as lecturer in histopathology to design and lead the cellular pathology unit as part of the University’s BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science degree programme. He aims to stablish a research group at Solent focussed on investigating how emotional stress, during the normal ageing process, results in specific brain and peripheral disorders. Most importantly, in the same way he was inspired as an undergraduate, he also hopes to ignite a passion for biomedical sciences in students at Solent.

Further information

Teaching experience

Mohsen has extensive experience in delivering research-informed higher education. Between 2012 and 2018, he was a teaching assistant at the University of Portsmouth involved in delivering lectures on various topics, including anatomy and physiology, histology, neuroscience and neuropharmacology.

He has also been involved in the design and delivery of a number of practical laboratory classes for biomedical sciences, pharmacy and pharmacology students. In addition, he has consistently been involved in the supervision of postgraduate research projects, including master's and PhD projects. He is currently the unit leader for the cellular pathology unit within the biomedical science degree programme at Solent.

Research interests

Mohsen uses a range of techniques such as electrophysiology, pharmacology, molecular biology, genomics, histology and animal models of disease to investigate the following:

  • The role of the Brain-Gut axis in the development and progression of age-related disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
  • Psychosocial stress (experienced either during early life of adulthood) and medical disorders of the aged: from dementias to type 2 diabetes.
  • Molecular, functional and histological characterisation of neurotransmitter receptor systems within various peripheral organs.

He would also like to start a new line of research investigating the effect of exercise on the way our body responds to stress.

Recent publications

  • Seifi M, Swinny JD (2019). Developmental and age-dependent plasticity of GABAA receptors in the mouse colon: Implications in colonic motility and inflammation. Autonomic Neuroscience: Basic and Clinical. Doi: 10.1016/j.autneu.2019.102579.
  • Hernadez-Perez OR, Hernandez VS, Nava-Kopp A, Barrio RA, Seifi M, Swinny JD, Eiden LE, Zhang L (2019). A synaptically connected hypothalamic magnocellular vasopressin-locus coeruleus neuronal circuit and its plasticity in response to emotional and physiological stress. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Doi: 10.3389/fnins.2019.00196.
  • Campos-Lira E, Kelly L, Seifi M, Jackson T, Giesecke T, Mutig K, Koshimizu T, Salvador Hernandez T, Zhang L and Swinny JD (2018). Dynamic modulation of mouse locus coeruleus neurons by vasopressin 1a and 1b receptors. Frontiers in Neuroscience. Doi: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00919.
  • Seifi M, Rodaway S, Rudolph U, Swinny JD (2018). GABAA Receptor Subtypes Regulate Stress-Induced Colon Inflammation in Mice. Gastroenterology. Doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2018.05.033.
  • Berggaard N, Seifi M, van der Want JJL, Swinny JD (2018). Spatiotemporal Distribution of GABAA Receptor Subunits Within Layer II of Mouse Medial Entorhinal Cortex: Implications for Grid Cell Excitability. Frontiers in neuroanatomy. Doi: 10.3389/fnana.2018.00046.
  • Ma R, Seifi M, Papanikolaou M, Brown JF, Swinny JD, Lewis A (2018). TREK-1 Channel Expression in Smooth Muscle as a Target for Regulating Murine Intestinal Contractility: Therapeutic Implications for Motility Disorders. Frontiers in physiology. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2018.00157.
  • Everington EA, Gibbard AG, Swinny JD, Seifi M (2018). Molecular characterisation of GABA-A receptor subunit diversity within major peripheral organs and their plasticity in response to early life psychosocial stress. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience. Doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2018.00018.
  • Belelli D, Brown AR, Mitchell SJ, Gunn BG, Herd MB, Phillips G, Seifi M, Swinny JD, Lambert JJ (2017). Endogenous neurosteroids influence synaptic GABAA receptors during post-natal development. J Neuroendocrinol. Doi: 10.1111/jne.12537.
  • Seifi M and Swinny JD (2016). Immunolocalisation of AMPA receptor subunits within the enteric nervous system of the mouse colon and the effect of their activation on spontaneous colonic contractions. Neurogastroenterology & Motility. Doi: 10.1111/nmo.12768.
  • Brown AR, Mitchell SJ, Peden DR, Herd MB, Seifi M, Swinny JD, Belelli D, Lambert JJ (2015). During postnatal development endogenous neurosteroids influence GABA-ergic neurotransmission of mouse cortical neurons. Neuropharmacology. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2015.11.019.
  • Seifi M, Brown JF, Mills J, Bhandari P, Belelli D, Lambert JJ, Rudolph U, and Swinny JD (2014). Molecular and functional diversity of GABA-A receptors in the enteric nervous system of the mouse colon. Journal of Neuroscience. Doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0441-14.2014.
  • Seifi M, Corteen NL, van der Want JJ, Metzger F, Swinny JD (2014). Localisation of NG2 immunoreactive neuroglia cells in the rat locus coeruleus and their plasticity in response to stress. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. Doi: 10.3389/fnana.2014.00031.
  • Gunn BJ, Cunningham L, Cooper MA, Corteen NL, Seifi M, Swinny JD, Lambert JJ and Belelli D (2013). Dysfunctional astrocytic and synaptic regulation of hypothalamic glutamatergic transmission in a mouse model of early-life adversity: relevance to neurosteroids and programming of the stress-response. Journal of Neuroscience. Doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1337-13.2013.
  • Gounko NV, Swinny JD, Kalicharan D, Corteen NL, Seifi M, Bakels R, Gramsbergen A, and van der Want JJL (2013). Corticotropin-releasing factor and urocortin regulate spine and synapse formation: structural basis for stress-induced neuronal remodelling and pathology. Molecular Psychiatry. Doi: 10.1038/mp.2012.43.