Research Focus


  • Neuroendocrinology
  • Hypothalamus
  • Clinical Conditions

  • Other 
  • Equipment & Techniques

  • Calcium imaging
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Electrophysiological recording techniques
  • Science Culture

  • Equality, Diversity, Inclusion and Wellbeing
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    Professor Allan Herbison

    University Position
    Professor Allan Herbison is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


    We are focused upon understanding the properties and functioning of the key neural populations controlling fertility in mammals; the gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons and the kisspeptin neurons. Together, these cells generate the "pulse" and "surge" patterns of hormone secretion that are responsible for the initiation of puberty and the subsequent maintenance of reproductive function in adult males and females. Studies are undertaken in a variety of genetically-modified mouse models using tissue clearing and expansion microscopy, single cell electrophysiology and calcium imaging in acute brain slices in vitro, RNAseq gene profiling, in vivo GCaMP imaging of the activity of selected neurons and neural populations in freely-behaving mice, and in vivo CRISPR-based gene editing.

    Key Publications

    Mechanism of kisspeptin neuron synchronization for pulsatile hormone secretion in male mice.

    Journal: Cell Rep
    E-pub date: 31 Jan 2023
    Authors: SY Han, PG Morris, J-C Kim, S Guru, M Pardo-Navarro, S-H Yeo, HJ McQuillan, AE Herbison

    Female sexual behavior in mice is controlled by kisspeptin neurons

    Journal: Yearbook of Paediatric Endocrinology
    E-pub date: 11 Sep 2018
    Authors: H V, B O, C M, D E, A M, M C, P R, H A, C WH, P V, B U, B J

    Female sexual behavior in mice is controlled by kisspeptin neurons.

    Journal: Nat Commun
    E-pub date: 26 Jan 2018
    Authors: V Hellier, O Brock, M Candlish, E Desroziers, M Aoki, C Mayer, R Piet, A Herbison, WH Colledge, V Prévot, U Boehm, J Bakker

    Definition of the hypothalamic GnRH pulse generator in mice.

    Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
    E-pub date: 21 Nov 2017
    Authors: J Clarkson, SY Han, R Piet, T McLennan, GM Kane, J Ng, RW Porteous, JS Kim, WH Colledge, KJ Iremonger, AE Herbison

    Distribution and postnatal development of Gpr54 gene expression in mouse brain and gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons.

    Journal: Endocrinology
    E-pub date: 1 Jan 2010
    Authors: AE Herbison, XD de Tassigny, J Doran, WH Colledge

    Distribution of kisspeptin neurones in the adult female mouse brain.

    Journal: J Neuroendocrinol
    E-pub date: 31 Aug 2009
    Authors: J Clarkson, X d'Anglemont de Tassigny, WH Colledge, A Caraty, AE Herbison

    Kisspeptin-GPR54 signaling is essential for preovulatory gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuron activation and the luteinizing hormone surge.

    Journal: J Neurosci
    E-pub date: 27 Aug 2008
    Authors: J Clarkson, X d'Anglemont de Tassigny, AS Moreno, WH Colledge, AE Herbison


    CRISPR-Cas9 knockdown of ESR1 in preoptic GABA-kisspeptin neurons abolishes the preovulatory surge and estrous cycles in female mice

    E-pub date: 21 Dec 2023
    Authors: J Clarkson, SH Yip, R Porteous, A Kauff, AK Heather, AE Herbison

    Definition of the estrogen negative feedback pathway controlling the GnRH pulse generator in female mice.

    Journal: Nat Commun
    E-pub date: 2 Dec 2022
    Authors: HJ McQuillan, J Clarkson, A Kauff, SY Han, SH Yip, I Cheong, R Porteous, AK Heather, AE Herbison

    Highly redundant neuropeptide volume co-transmission underlying episodic activation of the GnRH neuron dendron.

    Journal: Elife
    E-pub date: 19 Jan 2021
    Authors: X Liu, S-H Yeo, HJ McQuillan, MK Herde, S Hessler, I Cheong, R Porteous, AE Herbison

    Sex- and sub region-dependent modulation of arcuate kisspeptin neurones by vasopressin and vasoactive intestinal peptide.

    Journal: J Neuroendocrinol
    E-pub date: 1 Dec 2018
    Authors: D Schafer, G Kane, WH Colledge, R Piet, AE Herbison

    Kisspeptin neurons co-express met-enkephalin and galanin in the rostral periventricular region of the female mouse hypothalamus.

    Journal: Journal of Comparative Neurology
    E-pub date: 1 Dec 2011
    Authors: R Porteous, SL Petersen, SH Yeo, JP Bhattarai, P Ciofi, XD de Tassigny, WH Colledge, A Caraty, AE Herbison

    Frequency-dependent recruitment of fast amino acid and slow neuropeptide neurotransmitter release controls gonadotropin-releasing hormone neuron excitability.

    Journal: J Neurosci
    E-pub date: 16 Feb 2011
    Authors: X Liu, R Porteous, X d'Anglemont de Tassigny, WH Colledge, R Millar, SL Petersen, AE Herbison