Stafford Lightman is Professor of Medicine at the University of Bristol and is Director of the Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrative Neuroscience and Endocrinology. He started his scientific career working on catecholamines and opioid peptides with Leslie Iversen at the University of Cambridge and provided some of the first data linking opioid peptides with the regulation of neurohypophysial function. At this time he also performed some of the first studies demonstrating the importance of brain stem catecholamine pathways in the regulation of hypothalamic activity. On moving to what is now Imperial College in London, he started to develop his studies on the role of the brain in the regulation of stress response. He demonstrated the shift from CRH to arginine vasopressin in the control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during chronic stress, demonstrated and characterised the development of stress hyporesponsiveness during lactation in both rats and man and developed models of immunological activation of the stress response. More recently he has developed the concept of emergent pulsatility of hormone secretion as a result of inherent delays in the feedforward or feedback relationships regulating endocrine activity. This has also led to a new emphasis on the importance of digital signalling at the level of glucocorticoid receptors and GR chromatin interactions.
S Lightman was the founder Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neuroendocrinology, a founder Fellow of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, the founder Chairman of the Pituitary Foundation and a Council Member of the Physiological Society. He sits on several Research Councils, Wellcome Trust and European Research Committees and has Chaired the European Union Committee Review of Tertiary Education in East Africa. Professor Lightman also has a major interest in inter-relationships between art and neuroscience.