Prof J Douglas Armstrong

My group works in the area of systems neurobiology with both informatics and wet-lab based research programmes.

Professor  J Douglas  Armstrong

Deputy Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Bioinformatics   

Professor of Systems Neurobiology 

  • Informatics Forum
  • 10 Crichton Street
  • Edinburgh  EH8 9AB
  • Hugh Robson Building
  • Edinburgh  EH8 9XD


Personal profile

  • January 2010 - present: Chief Scientific Officer (part-time), Actual Analytics Ltd, Edinburgh.
  • November 2008 - present: Chief Scientific Officer (part-time), Brainwave-Discovery Ltd, Edinburgh.
  • January 2000 – October 2001: Welsh Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Department of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Rice University, Houston, Texas, USA.
  • September 1995 – December 2000: Research Fellow, Division of Molecular Genetics, University of Glasgow, UK.


After obtaining a BSc and PhD in Genetics at Glasgow I carried out postdoctoral research with Kim Kaiser in Glasgow before moving to Rice, where I worked with Kathleen Beckingham on the genetic analysis of gravitaxic behavior.

Both posts involved the development of a suite of bioinformatics tools for structure/function analysis in the nervous system.

I started my own group in 2001 at Edinburgh in the School of Informatics and Centre for Integrative Physiology. My group works in the area of Systems Biology of Cognition with both informatics and wet-lab research programmes.

Systems biology of the synapse

Molecules in the brain form large and dense complexes that process electrical and chemical signals.

Mutations affecting key members of these complexes are often linked to psychiatric disorders and in turn the complexes are often the targets of drug therapies aimed at treating such conditions.

We are building simulations of these complexes and modelling the information flow through them. The results are being used to predict new molecules involved in psychiatric disorders and potential new drug targets.


Nestor Milyaev, David Osumi-Sutherland, Simon Reeve, Nicholas Burton, Richard A. Baldock, and J. Douglas Armstrong (2012) The Virtual Fly Brain browser and query interface. 28(3): 411-415 doi: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btr677.

Knowles-Barkey S, Longair M, Armstrong JD (2010) BrainTrap: a database of 3D protein expression patterns in the Drosophila brain. Database DOI:10.1093/database/baq005.

Krashes MJ, DasGupta S, Vreede A, White B, Armstrong JD, Waddell S. (2009) A neural circuit mechanism integrating motivational state with memory expression in Drosophila. Cell. 2009 Oct 16;139(2):416-27.

Fernandez E, Collins MO, Uren RT, Kopanitsa MV, Komiyama NH, Croning MDR, Zografos L, Armstrong JD, Choudhary JS & Grant SGN (2009) Targeted tandem affinity purification of PSD-95 recovers core postsynaptic complexes and schizophrenia susceptibility proteins. Nature Molecular Systems Biology 5:269 doi:10.1038/msb.2009.27.