Personal profile


Carole Torsney graduated with a 1st class Honours degree in Neuroscience from the University of Glasgow before completing a Wellcome Trust Neuroscience 4 yr PhD with Prof Maria Fitzgerald, University College London. She then undertook postdoctoral research with Prof Amy MacDermott, Columbia University, USA. In 2006, she successfully obtained a Caledonian Research Fellowship to undertake research within the Centre for Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh which was then furthered by a University of Edinburgh Senior Academic Fellowship. She currently continues her research interests within the Centre for Integrative Physiology, as a Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences.


1997, University of Glasgow, BSc Hons Neuroscience (1st class)

2002, University College London (UCL), PhD

Research Interests

Our main research focus is investigation of the altered sensory processing or ‘plasticity’ that occurs in chronic pain conditions with the aim of identifying novel therapies. 

My research in a nutshell

Pain is an essential warning system that promotes survival. However, following injury, some individuals develop chronic ongoing pain that can be evoked by everyday activities and can even occur spontaneously, which greatly reduces quality of life. Unfortunately, treatment options for these conditions are frequently ineffective or are limited by adverse side effects. We strive to improve our understanding of the mechanisms underlying this altered neural communication within the pain pathways, in conjunction with clinical colleagues through the University of Edinburgh Translational Pain Research Programme, with the aim of improving management of these debilitating conditions:


Carole Torsney is the Course Organiser for Medical Biology 1 (300+ students) and Course Organiser of an Honours Elective (Sensory Physiology and Dysfunction) and teaches on both of these courses. She also organises and contributes to a themed week of teaching for the ‘MSc by Research Integrative Neuroscience’. In addition she is a member of the Physiology Honours Exam Board. Her teaching spans all undergraduate years and also postgraduate:



Year 1: Medical Biology 1

Year 2: Biomedical Sciences 2

Year 3: Biomedical Sciences 3, Neuroscience 3

Year 4: Sensory Physiology and Dysfunction 

Postgraduate (MSc): MSc by Research Integrative Neuroscience      


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