Claudia Barros

Academic profile

Dr Claudia Barros

Associate Professor of Neuroscience (Research)
Peninsula Medical School (Faculty of Health)

The Global Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Claudia's work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

Goal 03: SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-beingGoal 04: SDG 4 - Quality Education

About Claudia

Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Principal Investigator, Peninsula Medical School, Faculty of Health, University of Plymouth.

The Barros's Team investigates cellular and molecular mechanisms directing Neural Stem Cell development and Brain Tumourigenesis. 

Qualifications: I have trained at the Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal), University of Cambridge (UK), The Scripps Research Institute (San Diego, USA) and the University of Oxford (UK). I was next awarded a Leverhulme Early Career Felowship which I started at Bangor University (Wales, UK) and moved to the University of Plymouth, where I then continued as a Lecturer in Neuroscience. Since 2020 I am Associate Professor of Neuroscience at Plymouth.

  • Diploma (5-years) Biology/ Genetics, Faculdade de Ciencias, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal (1998; 1st class)
  • Research Internship, Dr Domingos Henrique, Faculty of Medicine, University of Lisbon, Portugal (1997-99)
  • PhD, Gurdon Institute, Prof Andrea Brand laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK. Neural Stem Cell division and cell fate, Drosophila models (2003)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Professor Ulrich Müller laboratory, Dorris Neuroscience Center, The Scripps Research Institute, San Diego, USA. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of neural development and function, mouse models (2009)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics, Dr Adam Claridge-Chang laboratory, Oxford University, UK. Drosophila Gene expression systems (2010)
  • Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellow, Bangor University, Wales and Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth (2010-13)
  • Lecturer and Principal Investigator, Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth (2013-2020)
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (PGCAP, 2014)
  • Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Peninsula Medical School, University of Plymouth (Aug 2020-present)

Research: Current research in the Barros Team focusses on the identification and characterisation of signals leading to Brain Tumour initiation and growth, as well as mechanims underlying Neural Stem Cell mitotic activation and identity. Our work involves functional genetics, gene expression and imaging studies. We take advantage of the fruit fly Drosophila brain as an in vivo model, and we translate findings into mammalian systems including human brain tissues, patient-derived brain tumour stem cells and neural stem cell cultures. We are part of the Plymouth Brain Tumour Research Centre of excellence sponsored by Brain Tumour Research, UK.

Postgraduate Research Degree Coordination and Leadership:

  • Deputy Director of Doctoral College & Faculty of Health Doctoral College Committee chair (Nov 2019-Dec 2022);
  • Faculty of Health Research Degrees Committee member (2013-2019; vice-chair 2015-2019);
  • Peninsula Medical School Postgraduate Research Coordinator (2015-Jan 2020).
  • Peninsula Medical School Senior Management Team member (2019-23).

Supervised Research Degrees

  • Completions: 2 MRes, 4 PhDs, 1 PhD viva'ed (as Director of Studies); 1 PhD (as 2nd supervisor)
  • Current: 2 PhDs, 1 ResM (as Director of Studies); 3 PhDs (as 2nd or 3rd supervisor)

See our lab website for alumni and their next destinations.


Neuroscience, cancer, neural stem and cancer stem cell development. 
Current contributions to undergraduate and postgraduate teaching:

  • Peninsula Medical School - Special Session Units (SSU MIS, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (BMBS). year 2,  module co-lead
  • Peninsula Medical School - Higher Brain Function, BMBS 
  • Peninsula Dental School, Life Sciences - Molecular Biology of Cancer (year 2)
  • School of Biomedical Sciences, BHCS3007 - Contemporary issues in Neurobiology - Neural Stem Cells (year 3)
  • School of Biomedical Sciences, BHCS3001 - Personal Research Projects (year 3; host min 2 internships/ year)
  • School of Biomedical Sciences 5006 - Neural Basis of Cognition, MSc in Biomedical Science 
  • School of Biomedical Sciences 3030 - 1-year long Personal Research Project (year 3)
  • Pastoral Tutoring, Peninsula Medical Schools of Medicine and Dentistry undergraduates, all years

Past contributions: Peninsula Medical School SSU R - Research in Action (year 4); Peninsula Medical School SSU DaE (year 2); Peninsula Dental School - Emerging Concepts in Biomedical Science (year 2); School of Biomedical Sciences - MSc in Biomedical Science (Research Project).

Contact Claudia

R2RL24, John Bull Building, Plymouh Science Park, 16 Research Way, Plymouth, PL6 8BU