Dr Aziz Asghar

Senior Lecturer in Biological Sciences

Role at Hull York Medical School

Dr Aziz Asghar is a neuroscientist who investigates brain neuronal activity using a collaborative and translational approach in healthy participants and in patient groups.  

At the University of Hull, he leads an interdisciplinary team based in the Enterprise Centre which has developed low cost portable brain electroencephalography (EEG) and heart electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors which wirelessly pair to a mobile phone or tablet device for use in novel research projects and experimental designs.  

He has undertaken clinical and non-clinical research studies using functional MRI and MEG scanners at the York Neuroimaging Centre.  

He is the Hull York Medical School Postgraduate Research Tutor where his roles include: academic and welfare issues, formal induction sessions, academic progression, and postgraduate admissions.

Interviewer for undergraduate medical school applicants.



  • Lecturer in Biological Sciences, Hull York Medical School (2003-current)
  • Lecturer in Neuroscience, University of Leeds (2001-2003)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Wellcome Trust), University of Leeds (1998-2001)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow (AstraZeneca), University of Leeds (1996-1998)
  • Research Fellow, University of Edinburgh (1995-1996)

Professional Qualifications

  • PhD Neuropharmacology, University of Edinburgh (1995)
  • BSc (Hons) Immunology and Pharmacology, University of Strathclyde (1990)
  • PGDip Pharmacology, University of Strathclyde (1989)
  • BSc Physiology, University of Glasgow (1988)

Higher Education Teaching Qualifications

  • FHEA (Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, 2013)
  • PGCLTHE (Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education), University of Leeds (2003)

Aziz is a member of the Experimental Medicine and Biomedicine research group.

Research Projects, Enterprise Centre, University of Hull

I am the principal investigator leading an innovative interdisciplinary research team based in the Enterprise Centre, University of Hull.  We have successfully developed a novel low cost portable monitor which enables monitoring by smart phones/tablets of relevant body electrical signals including the brain electroencephalogram (EEG) and heart electrocardiogram (ECG). The team includes colleagues from Hull York Medical School, School of Engineering, Department of Psychology, Health and Social Care, Telehealth, and Sports, Health and Exercise Science. Current projects:

  • Measurement and analysis of brain signals using mobile EEG
  • Acquisition and analysis of mobile heart ECG
  • Using mobile EEG to assess brain rhythm responses to skin activation

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Magnetoencephalography (MEG), York Neuroimaging Centre, University of York

  • fMRI and MEG neuroimaging of mild traumatic brain injury
  • fMRI of the brain before and after morbid obesity surgeryNMR, hyperpolarisation and clinical applications
  • MEG neuroimaging of synaesthesia
  • fMRI and MEG neuroimaging of acupuncture
  • fMRI neuroimaging of facial emotions

My research has featured on the following BBC TV programmes:

(1) BBC2 programme, “Alternative Medicine, Acupuncture- The evidence” (http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2006/01_january/21/medicine.shtml). Broadcast on 24th January 2006 and was watched by over 4 million viewers. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_vRh0r0yRBg)

(2) BBC3 Programme, “Kick Ass Miracles Episode 5 - Healing and Health”. Broadcast 3rd March 2006. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpTJAmunavM)

(3) BBC2 Programme, “Trust me I am a doctor”, Broadcast 15th October 2014. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04m0bt4) ((https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uT7GpVgUme4)

My research has also been featured in newspaper and magazine articles, on radio, and on websites/blogs. A recent newspaper article was published in the York Press on 10th October 2014.(http://www.yorkpress.co.uk/features/features/11527486.Study_gets_to_the_real_point_about_acupuncture/)




Hull York Medical School Postgraduate Senior Tutor and Academic Lead for Postgraduate Admissions.



  • Co-ordinator for the Centre for Neuroscience Scholarship and Special Interest Programme
  • Personal Identity Workshops


  • Block 12 lead for Year 2 Musculoskelatal and Nervous System
  • Neuroscience plenary lecturer to Year 1 and 2 medical students
  • Neuroscience biopracticals
  • Provider of Student Selected Components
  • Hull York Medical School Senior Student Advisor


2004-2013 (Department of Biological Sciences, University of Hull) 

  • Neuroscience Lecturer Practical Classes


  • Hull York Medical School Postgraduate Board
  • Hull York Medical School Board of Studies
  • Faculty of Science Ethics Committee 

Previous Committees 

  • Research Degrees Committee, University of Hull
  • Science and Ethics Committee, York Neuroimaging Centre
  • Hull York Medical School Fitness to Practise
  • Hull York Medical School Phase I Curriculum Committee
  • Hull York Medical School Examination Working Party
  • Hull York Medical School Academic Progress Committee
  • Deputy Chair, Hull York Medical School Intercalated Degree Programme
  • Vice Chancellor Diversity Initiative Committee, University of York

A. Published Research Papers 

B. Medical Education

C. Patents

A. Published Research Papers 

Christopher J. Clewett, Phillip Langley, Anthony D. Bateson, Aziz Asghar, Antony J. Wilkinson, Non-invasive, home-based electroencephalography hypoglycaemia warning system for personal monitoring using skin surface electrodes: a single-case feasibility study. Healthcare Technology Letters, pp. 1–4doi: 10.1049/htl.2015.0037.

Lloyd LS, Asghar A, Burns MJ, Charlton A, Coombes S, Cowley MJ et al. Hyperpolarisation through reversible interactions with parahydrogen. Catalysis Science and Technology. 2014,4(10):3544-3554.

Mattavelli G, Sormaz M, Flack T, Asghar AU, Fan S, Frey J et al. Neural responses to facial expressions support the role of the amygdala in processing threat. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 2013. PMID: 24097376

Asghar AU, Johnson RL, Woods W, Green GG, Lewith G, Macpherson H. Oscillatory neuronal dynamics associated with manual acupuncture: a magnetoencephalography study using beamforming analysis. Front Hum Neurosci 2012; 6:303.

Mattavelli G, Andrews TJ, Asghar AU, Towler JR, Young AW. Response of face-selective brain regions to trustworthiness and gender of faces. Neuropsychologia 2012; 50(9):2205-2211.

Peraza LR, Asghar AU, Green G, Halliday DM. Volume conduction effects in brain network inference from electroencephalographic recordings using phase lag index. J Neurosci Methods 2012; 207(2):189-199.

Asghar AU, Green G, Lythgoe MF, Lewith G, Macpherson H. Acupuncture needling sensation: the neural correlates of deqi using fMRI. Brain Res 2010; 1315:111-118.

Chapman RJ, Cilia La Corte PF, Asghar AU, King AE. Network-based activity induced by 4-aminopyridine in rat dorsal horn in vitro is mediated by both chemical and electrical synapses. J Physiol 2009; 587(Pt 11):2499-2510.

Asghar AU, Chiu YC, Hallam G, Liu S, Mole H, Wright H et al. An amygdala response to fearful faces with covered eyes. Neuropsychologia 2008; 46(9):2364-2370.

Macpherson H, Green G, Nevado A, Lythgoe MF, Lewith G, Devlin R et al. Brain imaging of acupuncture: comparing superficial with deep needling. Neurosci Lett 2008; 434(1):144-149.

Macpherson H, Asghar A. Acupuncture needle sensations associated with De Qi: a classification based on experts' ratings. J Altern Complement Med 2006; 12(7):633-637.

Asghar AU, Cilia La Corte PF, LeBeau FE, Al DM, Reilly SC, Buhl EH et al. Oscillatory activity within rat substantia gelatinosa in vitro: a role for chemical and electrical neurotransmission. J Physiol 2005; 562(Pt 1):183-198.

Asghar AU, Bird GC, King AE. Glutamate uptake inhibition modulates dorsal horn neurotransmission: a comparison between normal and arthritic rats. Neuroreport 2001; 12(18):4061-4064.

Bird GC, Asghar AU, Ackley MA, King AE. Modulation of primary afferent-mediated neurotransmission and Fos expression by glutamate uptake inhibition in rat spinal neurones in vitro. Neuropharmacology 2001; 41(5):582-591.

Badie-Mahdavi H, Worsley MA, Ackley MA, Asghar AU, Slack JR, King AE. A role for protein kinase intracellular messengers in substance P- and nociceptor afferent-mediated excitation and expression of the transcription factor Fos in rat dorsal horn neurons in vitro. Eur J Neurosci 2001; 14(3):426-434.

Ackley MA, Asghar AU, Worsley MA, King AE. Peripheral inflammation reduces the response of spinal dorsal horn neurons to an NK3 receptor agonist. Neurosci Lett 2001; 308(1):13-16.

Kelly DC, Asghar AU, Marr CG, McQueen DS. Nitric oxide modulates articular sensory discharge and responsiveness to bradykinin in normal and arthritic rats in vivo. Neuroreport 2001; 12(1):121-125.

Asghar AU, Hasan SS, King AE. Actions of the anticonvulsant remacemide metabolite AR-R12495AA on afferent-evoked spinal synaptic transmission in vitro and on models of acute and chronic inflammation in the rat. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 2000; 294(3):876-883.

Asghar AU, Wheeldon A, Coleman RA, Bountra C, McQueen DS. Hoe 140 and pseudo-irreversible antagonism in the rat vas deferens in vitro. Eur J Pharmacol 2000; 398(1):131-138.

Asghar AU, Hasan SS, King AE. The anticonvulsant remacemide and its metabolite AR-R12495AA attenuate spinal synaptic transmission and carrageenan-induced inflammation in the young rat. Eur J Pain 2000; 4(1):97-106.

Khasabov SG, Lopez-Garcia JA, Asghar AU, King AE. Modulation of afferent-evoked neurotransmission by 5-HT3 receptors in young rat dorsal horn neurones in vitro: a putative mechanism of 5-HT3 induced anti-nociception. Br J Pharmacol 1999; 127(4):843-852.

B. Medical Education Publications

(1) Introducing Peer Physical Examination in Years One and Two of a Medical School Curriculum. A Hammond, J Henderson and A Asghar. Scottish Clinical Skills Network Conference (‘Discovery in Clinical Skills’ Dundee 9th and 10th September 2010, Poster Presentation).

(2) Introducing Peer Physical Examination into Years One and Two of a Medical School Curriculum.  Hammond, A., Henderson, J., Asghar, A., Collins, S. Fourth International Clinical Skills Conference (Showcasing Innovation and Evidenced Based Clinical Skills Education and Practice, Prato, Tuscany, May 2011)

C. Drug Patents

(1) Use of NMDA antagonists for treatment of irritable bowel syndrome AstraZeneca, Inventor Aziz Asghar et al, Bibliographic data:  MY121063 (A) ― 2005-12-30.(2) Treatment of inflammatory disorders with NMDA antagonists and sodium channel antagonists. Inventor Aziz Asghar et al, Bibliographic data: US6221887 (B1) ― 2001-04-24.


University of Hull

  • Anthony Bateson, School of Engineering
  • Dr Anthony Wilkinson & Dr Kevin Paulson, School of Engineering
  • Dr Grant Abt, Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science
  • Jonathan Thorpe, Centre for Telehealth

York Neuroimaging Centre (www.ynic.york.ac.uk)

  • Professor Gary Green, York Neuroimaging Centre, University of York
  • Professor Andy Young, Department of Psychology, University of York
  • Dr Heidi Baseler, Department of Psychology, University of York
  • Dr Hugh MacPherson, Department of Health Sciences, University of York
  • Dr Askok Jansari, Department of Pscyhology, Goldsmiths, University of London
  • Dr Mary Spiller, Department of Psychology, University of East London
  • Dr Luis Peraza Rodriguez, Institute of Neuroscience, University of Newcastle
  • Dr Angel Nevado, Laboratory of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience, University of Madrid, Spain
  • Dr William Woods, Brain and Psychological Sciences, Swinburne University, Australia


  • Dr Will Townend, Emergency Medicine, Hull Royal Infirmary
  • Professor Glen Millar & Professor Steven Leveson, GI Surgery, York Hospital