Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences
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Duncan MacGregor

My current focus is on vasopressin neurons and their role in body fluid homeostasis, using a multi-scale integrated spiking, secretion, synthesis, and plasma model in tandem with experimental work to understand how the properties of the neurons change during prolonged challenge

Dr Duncan MacGregor

Senior Research Fellow

  • Hugh Robson Building
  • 15 George Square
  • Edinburgh, EH8 9XD

Contact details

Personal profile

  • 2015 to Present, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Discovery Brain Sciences (Gareth Leng), University of Edinburgh
  • 2010-2015: Research Fellow, Centre for Integrative Physiology (Gareth Leng), University of Edinburgh
  • 2009-2010: Research Associate, Centre for Integrative Physiology (Mike Shipston), University of Edinburgh
  • 2007-2009: Research Fellow, Centre for Integrative Physiology (Gareth Leng), University of Edinburgh
  • 2006-2007: Research Fellow, Reproductive Biology (Gerald Lincoln), University of Edinburgh
  • 1998-2003: PhD in Computational Neurophysiology, University of Edinburgh
  • 1997-1998: MSc in Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh
  • 1993-1997: BSc in Artificial Intelligence and Computer Science, University of Edinburgh

Research

I use computational modelling to study the neuroendocrine oxytocin and vasopressin neurons of the hypothalamus, and also the hypothalamic systems involved in energy homeostasis.

I build both detailed neuronal models and high level system models, working from both ends to bridge from the properties of individual neurons towards their function as a population and within a larger physiological system.

My current focus is on vasopressin neurons and their role in body fluid homeostasis, using a multi-scale integrated spiking, secretion, synthesis, and plasma model in tandem with experimental work to understand how the properties of the neurons change during prolonged challenge. Changes in the function of these neurons are thought to be responsible for making more severe many physiological dysfunctions in later life.  

Publications

MacGregor DJ, Leng G (2019) Emergent decision-making behaviour and rhythm generation in a computational model of the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus. PLoS Computational Biology 15(6): e1007092.

Maicas-Royo J, Leng, G, MacGregor DJ (2019) The spiking and secretory activity of oxytocin neurones in response to osmotic stimulation. A computational model. Journal of Physiology. 597(14): 3657-3671.

Leng G, MacGregor DJ (2018) Models in neuroendocrinology. Math Biosci. 305:29-41.

Maícas-Royo J, Leng, G, MacGregor DJ (2018) A predictive, quantitative model of spiking activity and stimulus-secretion coupling in oxytocin neurons. Endocrinology 159(3):1433-1452.

Leng T, Leng G, MacGregor DJ (2017) Spike patterning in oxytocin neurons: Capturing physiological behaviour with Hodgkin-Huxley and integrate-and-fire models. PLoS ONE. 12, 7, e0180368.

Maicas-Royo J, Brown CH, Leng G, MacGregor, DJ (2016) Oxytocin neurones: intrinsic mechanisms governing the regularity of spiking activity. Journal of Neuroendocrinology 28(4).

MacGregor DJ, Leng G (2013) Spike triggered hormone secretion in vasopressin cells; a model investigation of mechanism and heterogeneous population function. PLoS Computational Biology 9(8):e1003187.

MacGregor DJ, Leng G (2012) Phasic firing in vasopressin cells: understanding its functional significance through computational models. PLoS Computational Biology 8(10):e1002740.