Dr Nigel Birdsall

Dr Nigel Birdsall


Dr Nigel Birdsall HonFBPhS


The Francis Crick Institute

Year elected:


Primary professional setting:


Nigel Birdsall obtained his PhD from Cambridge University. After postdoctoral research at Sloan-Kettering Cancer Institute, he returned to Cambridge and the MRC Molecular Pharmacology Unit. He moved with Sir Arnold Burgen to the NIMR at Mill Hill where he was a scientist and Group Leader for over 40 years. He is now a visiting scientist at the Francis Crick Institute.He studies the molecular pharmacology of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) and drugs or ligands which have novel modes of action and selectivity. His research has focussed on muscarinic receptors and the detailed characterisation of their binding and functional properties. Recently he has been using TIRF microscopy to study receptors at the single molecule level, observing how they behave on the surface of living cells and tissue slices. He has discovered that muscarinic receptors and a number of other GPCRs form reversible dimers, with lifetimes of about a second.