Researchers at UCD

Andrew Irving


School Of Biomolecular & Biomed Science
Conway Institute
Dublin 4



Research Links:  SBBS Research  |  Biotechnology Research in SBBS  |  Mechanisms of Disease Research in SBBS

I undertook my PhD at 
Bristol University with Prof Graham Collingridge and Dr George Schofleld, where I used epifluorescence imaging techniques to study metabotropic glutamate receptor signalling in cerebellar granule cells (1988-1992). Following on from this as a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Prof. Graham Collingridge (1992-1996), I was involved in one of the first studies investigating the surface expression of glutamate receptor (GluR1) subunits (Richmond et al., 1996).

Subsequently, on obtaining a Wellcome Career Development Fellowship at the 
University of Aberdeen(1996-2001), we used related immunocytochemical approaches (in collaboration with Dr Coutts & Prof Pertwee, Aberdeen & Dr Mackie, Washington) for analysing the functional localisaton of cell surface CBreceptors in cultured neurons (Irving et al., 2000), which we found to be highly polarised towards the axon and enriched at GABAergic terminals. This approach also allowed us to study the characteristics of agonist-induced internalisation of native CB1 receptors in neurons for the first time (Coutts et al., 2001).  

In 2001, I moved to a lectureship position at Dundee University, and was made a Senior Lecturer in 2010.




Association: Physiological Society, Function/Role: Member


Year 1992 Institution: University of Bristol
Qualification: PhD Subject:

Other Activities

Sweden.  Symposium on cannabinoids. ¿ CB1 receptor sub-cellular targeting¿ (2007). 7-TM Pharma, Denmark (2007). Hungarian Academy of Science, Budapest, Hungary (2008). Novartis, Basel, Switzerland (2008). Kuopio, Finland (2008) Endocannabinoid Workshop. El Escorial, Spain (2009)Informa GPCR conference, Barcelona (2009). Trinity College, Dublin (2011). Biochemical Society Conference, Lipid signalling,  Edinburgh. (2011).

Chair of Meetings/Session Organiser

European Winter Conference on Brain Research, Organiser and speaker  (2005-2011).. Life Science Conference Glasgow, Session organiser ¿Lights camera GPCR¿ (2007). European Winter Conference on Brain Research ¿Novel molecular targets for cannabinoids¿. Organiser and speaker (2008). BNA.  Liverpool. ¿Neuronal GPCR trafficking¿. Organiser and speaker. (2009). Informa cell-based assay conference. Co-ordinator of the evening discussion event. (2009).



Peer Reviewed Journals

Irving AJ, Harvey J. (2014) 'Leptin regulation of hippocampal synaptic function in health and disease'. Philosophical Transactions Of The Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 369 (1633). [DOI] [Details]
Kopach O, Vats J, Netsyk O, Voitenko N, Irving AJ, Fedirko, N (2012) 'Cannabinoid receptors in submandibular acinar cells: functional coupling between saliva fluid and electrolytes secretion and Ca2+ signalling'. Journal of Cell Science, . [DOI] [Details]
BainesA.E., CorrêaS.A.L., Irving A.J. & Frenguelli, B.G (2011) 'Differential trafficking of adenosine receptors in hippocampal neurons monitored using GFP- and super-ecliptic pHlourin-tagged receptors'. Neuropharmacology, . [DOI] [Details]
Anavi-Goffer S, Baillie G, Irving AJ, Gertsch J, Greig IR, Pertwee RG, Ross RA (2011) 'Modulation of L-α-lysophosphatidylinositol /GPR55 MAP kinase signalling by cannabinoids'. Journal of Biological Chemistry, . [DOI] [Details]
Persheyev S. FanY., Irving A.J.*, RoseM.J.* (2011) 'BV-2 Microglial cells sense micronanotextured silicon surface topology'. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research Part A, . [DOI] [Details]
Ford L.A., Roelofs A.J., Anavi-Goffer S., Mowat L., Simpson D.G., Irving A.J., Rogers M.J., Rajnicek A.M., RossR.A. (2010) 'A role for L-α-lysophosphatidylinositol and GPR55 in the modulation of migration, orientation and polarisation of human breast cancer cells'. British Journal of Pharmacology, . [DOI] [Details]
Moult P.R., Blair P., Cross A., Santos S.D., Carvalho A.L., Irving A.J., Leslie N.R., Harvey J. (2010) 'Leptin regulates AMPA receptor trafficking via PTEN inhibition'. Journal of Neuroscience, . [DOI] [Details]
Henstridge C.M., Balenga N.A.B., Schröder R., Kargl J.K., Platzer W., Martini L., Arthur S., Whistler J.L., Kostenis E., Waldhoer M. & Irving A.J. (2010) 'GPR55 ligands promote receptor coupling to multiple signalling pathways'. British Journal of Pharmacology, . [DOI] [Details]
Daly C.J., Ross R.A., Whyte J., Henstridge C.M., Irving A.J. & McGrath J.C. (2010) 'Fluorescent ligand binding reveals heterogeneous distribution of adrenergic and ¿cannabinoid-like¿ receptors in small arteries'. British Journal of Pharmacology, . [DOI] [Details]
Lipina C., Stretton C., Hastings S., Hundal J.S., Mackie K., Irving A.J. & Hundal H.S. (2010) 'Regulation of MAPK-kinase-directed mitogenic and PKB-mediated signalling by cannabinoid receptor type 1 in skeletal muscle cells'. Diabetes, . [DOI] [Details]


Research Interests

Our current research is focused on the use of  light microscopy and molecular imaging techniques to study cell function and G-protein coupled-receptor (GPCR) mediated cell signaling and pharmacology. Over the past few years we have introduced new molecular imaging approaches for the study of cell function and regulation, with a particular emphasis on receptor trafficking and  imaging of cytoskeletal dynamics using fluorescent fusion proteins (eg with SEP or GFP ; McDonald et al., 2007) and fluorescent markers (eg Alexa phalloidin; O¿Malley et al., 2006) in cultured cells.  Much of our recent work has involved investigating the properties of the novel cannabinoid receptor, GPR55, which links via G13 G proteins to Rho GTPase activation and associated changes in cell morphology and migration (Henstridge et al., 2009, Henstridge et al., 2010; Ford et al., 2010).   

Our research examining the role of endogenous cannabinoid/lipid signalling systems have greatly advanced our knowledge of how these function at the cellular level. Studies of the dynamic regulation of CB
receptor expression have highlighted how receptor endocytosis may underlie the distinct pattern of tolerance that develops towards cannabinoids.  Other work has indicated a potential neuroprotective role for cannabinoids and characterised a peripheral target for the effects of cannabinoid antagonists on energy metabolism and body weight.

Our current research on novel cannabinoid/lipid sensing receptors offers the possibility of developing therapeutic targets with more focused activities and a reduced potential for side effects.

Recent Postgraduates

Orla Haugh, MScGPR55 and cannabinoid regulation of neuroimmune function, 2013.

Xiao Luo, MSc, Synaptic function and disfunction, 2013.

Amy Alexander, PhD, Regulation of hippocampal synaptic function by novel cannaboid receptors, 2013.

June Penman, PhD, GPR55 function and function of signalling in immune cells, 2013.