Dr Nigel Wood

University position

Research Associate


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Research Theme

Cognitive and Behavioural Neuroscience


Our research in the Morton lab is focused on understanding the mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration and on developing strategies to delay or prevent the death of neurones in injured or degenerating brain, particularly in Huntington's disease (HD). I am studying motor and cognitive changes in transgenic mouse models of HD, including alterations in sleep patterns and social behaviours. I conduct pharmacological studies in an attempt to develop a treatment for HD.

I also have an interest in the use of MRI to study neurodegenerative diseases, especially in animal models.

Research Focus


Huntington's disease




Clinical conditions

Huntington's disease

Sleep disorders


Behavioural analysis


No collaborators listed

Associated News Items

    Key publications

    Wood NI, Pallier PN, Wanderer J, Morton AJ (2007), “Systemic administration of Congo red does not improve motor or cognitive function in R6/2 mice” Neurobiology of Disease 25(2):342-353 Details

    Morton AJ, Wood NI, Hastings MH, Hurelbrink C, Barker RA, Maywood ES (2005), “Disintegration of the Sleep-Wake Cycle and Circadian Timing in Huntington's Disease” Journal of Neuroscience 25(1):157-163 Details

    Marshall JWB, Ridley RM, Baker HF, Hall LD, Carpenter TA, Wood NI (2003), “Serial MRI, functional recovery, and long-term infarct maturation in a non-human primate model of stroke” Brain Research Bulletin 61(6):577-585



    Buonincontri G, Wood NI, Puttick SG, Ward AO, Carpenter TA, Sawiak SJ, Morton AJ (2014), “Right ventricular dysfunction in the R6/2 transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease is unmasked by dobutamine.” J Huntingtons Dis 3(1):25-32 Details

    Morton AJ, Rudiger SR, Wood NI, Sawiak SJ, Brown GC, Mclaughlan CJ, Kuchel TR, Snell RG, Faull RL, Bawden CS (2014), “Early and progressive circadian abnormalities in Huntington's disease sheep are unmasked by social environment.” Hum Mol Genet 23(13):3375-83 Details


    Sawiak SJ, Wood NI, Williams GB, Morton AJ, Carpenter TA (2013), “Voxel-based morphometry with templates and validation in a mouse model of Huntington's disease.” Magn Reson Imaging 31(9):1522-31 Details

    Wood NI, McAllister CJ, Cuesta M, Aungier J, Fraenkel E, Morton AJ (2013), “Adaptation to experimental jet-lag in R6/2 mice despite circadian dysrhythmia.” PLoS One 8(2):e55036 Details


    Sawiak SJ, Wood NI, Carpenter TA, Morton AJ (2012), “Huntington's disease mouse models online: high-resolution MRI images with stereotaxic templates for computational neuroanatomy.” PLoS One 7(12):e53361 Details

    Wood NI, Sawiak SJ, Buonincontri G, Niu Y, Kane AD, Carpenter TA, Giussani DA, Morton AJ (2012), “Direct evidence of progressive cardiac dysfunction in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.” J Huntingtons Dis 1(1) Details


    Wood NI, Glynn D, Morton AJ (2011), “"Brain training" improves cognitive performance and survival in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.” Neurobiol Dis 42(3):427-37 Details


    Maywood ES, Fraenkel E, McAllister CJ, Wood N, Reddy AB, Hastings MH, Morton AJ (2010), “Disruption of peripheral circadian timekeeping in a mouse model of Huntington's disease and its restoration by temporally scheduled feeding.” J Neurosci 30(30):10199-204 Details

    Wood NI, Carta V, Milde S, Skillings EA, McAllister CJ, Ang YL, Duguid A, Wijesuriya N, Afzal SM, Fernandes JX, Leong TW, Morton AJ (2010), “Responses to environmental enrichment differ with sex and genotype in a transgenic mouse model of Huntington's disease.” PLoS One 5(2):e9077 Details


    Sawiak SJ, Wood NI, Williams GB, Morton AJ, Carpenter TA (2009), “Voxel-based morphometry in the R6/2 transgenic mouse reveals differences between genotypes not seen with manual 2D morphometry.” Neurobiol Dis 33(1):20-7 Details

    Sawiak SJ, Wood NI, Williams GB, Morton AJ, Carpenter TA (2009), “Use of magnetic resonance imaging for anatomical phenotyping of the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease.” Neurobiol Dis 33(1):12-9 Details


    Goodman AO, Murgatroyd PR, Medina-Gomez G, Wood NI, Finer N, Vidal-Puig AJ, Morton AJ, Barker RA (2008), “The metabolic profile of early Huntington's disease--a combined human and transgenic mouse study.” Exp Neurol 210(2):691-8 Details

    van der Burg JM, Bacos K, Wood NI, Lindqvist A, Wierup N, Woodman B, Wamsteeker JI, Smith R, Deierborg T, Kuhar MJ, Bates GP, Mulder H, Erlanson-Albertsson C, Morton AJ, Brundin P, Petersén A, Björkqvist M (2008), “Increased metabolism in the R6/2 mouse model of Huntington's disease.” Neurobiol Dis 29(1):41-51 Details

    Wood NI, Goodman AO, van der Burg JM, Gazeau V, Brundin P, Björkqvist M, Petersén A, Tabrizi SJ, Barker RA, Morton AJ (2008), “Increased thirst and drinking in Huntington's disease and the R6/2 mouse.” Brain Res Bull 76(1-2):70-9 Details


    Ribchester RR, Thomson D, Wood NI, Hinks T, Gillingwater TH, Wishart TM, Court FA, Morton AJ (2004), “Progressive abnormalities in skeletal muscle and neuromuscular junctions of transgenic mice expressing the Huntington's disease mutation.” Eur J Neurosci 20(11):3092-114 Details


    Marshall JW, Ridley RM, Baker HF, Hall LD, Carpenter TA, Wood NI (2003), “Serial MRI, functional recovery, and long-term infarct maturation in a non-human primate model of stroke.” Brain Res Bull 61(6):577-85 Details

    Wood NI, Morton AJ (2003), “Chronic lithium chloride treatment has variable effects on motor behaviour and survival of mice transgenic for the Huntington's disease mutation.” Brain Res Bull 61(4):375-83 Details


    Dickinson A, Wood N, Smith JW (2002), “Alcohol seeking by rats: action or habit?” Q J Exp Psychol B 55(4):331-48 Details


    Whelan G, James MF, Samson NA, Wood NI (1999), “Anaesthesia of the common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) using continuous intravenous infusion of alphaxalone/alphadalone.” Lab Anim 33(1):24-9 Details


    Plumier JC, Armstrong JN, Wood NI, Babity JM, Hamilton TC, Hunter AJ, Robertson HA, Currie RW (1997), “Differential expression of c-fos, Hsp70 and Hsp27 after photothrombotic injury in the rat brain.” Brain Res Mol Brain Res 45(2):239-46 Details

    Wood NI, Barone FC, Benham CD, Brown TH, Campbell CA, Cooper DG, Evans ML, Feuerstein GZ, Hamilton TC, Harries MH, King PD, Meakin JE, Murkitt KL, Patel SR, Price WJ, Roberts JC, Rothaul AL, Samson NA, Smith SJ, Hunter AJ (1997), “The effects of SB 206284A, a novel neuronal calcium-channel antagonist, in models of cerebral ischemia.” J Cereb Blood Flow Metab 17(4):421-9 Details


    Lee VM, Burdett NG, Carpenter A, Hall LD, Pambakian PS, Patel S, Wood NI, James MF (1996), “Evolution of photochemically induced focal cerebral ischemia in the rat. Magnetic resonance imaging and histology.” Stroke 27(11):2110-8; discussion 2118-9 Details

    Wood NI, Sopesen BV, Roberts JC, Pambakian P, Rothaul AL, Hunter AJ, Hamilton TC (1996), “Motor dysfunction in a photothrombotic focal ischaemia model.” Behav Brain Res 78(2):113-20 Details


    Bailey SJ, Wood NI, Samson NA, Rothaul AL, Roberts JC, King PD, Hamilton TC, Harrison DC, Hunter AJ (1995), “Failure of isradipine to reduce infarct size in mouse, gerbil, and rat models of cerebral ischemia.” Stroke 26(11):2177-83 Details