Jeremy P. E. Spencer, PhD

Jeremy P. E. Spencer, PhD, is Reader in Biochemistry, in the Department of Food and Nutritional Sciences, The University of Reading, in the UK.  He is leader of the Food Chain and Health sub-theme “Plant Bioactives and Health,” Member of the Neuroscience at Reading Steering Committee, Member of the Quality Assurance in Research team, and Seminar coordinator for the Nutrition Research Group.

Dr. Spencer’s research is focused on investigating the molecular mechanisms that underlie the accumulating body of epidemiological, and medical anthropological evidence, on a positive correlation between the consumption of diets rich in fruits and vegetables and a decreased risk of neurodegenerative disorders.  In this context his research interests centre on two aspects: (1) the elucidation of cellular mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration; and (2) the bioactive properties of phytochemicals, in particular flavonoids, which may underlie their putative beneficial effects against neurodegenerative processes.  This work has led to detailed knowledge regarding potential mechanisms of action of flavonoids based on their modulation of intracellular signalling pathways.  The overall aim of the work is the development of dietary or therapeutic strategies to delay the onset of, or combat degenerative disorders, in particular those associated with the central nervous system.

Specifically, his research deals with the effects of flavonoids on memory, learning and neurocognitive performance, cellular models of neurodegeneration, the influence catecholamines, such as dopamine, L-DOPA and neuroinflammatory states on the neuronal redox state and viability of neurons, and the biotransformation and pharmacology of flavonoids and their major in vivo metabolites with potential cellular activities.

Dr. Spencer is a Fellow of the Higher Education Authority (FHEA), Elected Member of the Institute of Biology (CBiol MIBiol), Member of the Nutrition Society, Member of the International Society for Free Radical Research, and Member of the Biochemical Society