Professor Maria Fitzgerald FMedSci FRS

Maria Fitzgerald studies the developmental physiology and neurobiology of nociceptive circuits in the brain and spinal cord.  Her work has had a major impact on our understanding of how pain perception emerges in early life and how early pain experience can shape pain sensitivity for life.

Maria studied Physiological Sciences at Oxford and trained in pain physiology and neuroscience with Professor Patrick Wall FRS at UCL, who taught her to love science and to never be afraid of asking questions.  She was elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences in 2000. 

Maria’s research has changed clinical perception by showing that pain in infancy requires appropriate measurement and treatment and that it should be tailored to the developmental stage of the child.  In recognition of this she was awarded the Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children's Pain Relief from the American Pain Society, in 2011, the first basic scientist to have received this award.  In 2013 she was elected to the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal Society of Anaesthetics, for sustained and significant contributions to pain medicine.

Professional position

  • Professor of Developmental Neurobiology, Department Of Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology, University College London (UCL)

Subject groups

  • Anatomy, physiology and neurosciences

    Physiology incl biophysics of cells (non-clinical), Animal (especially mammalian) and human physiology and anatomy (non-clinical), Behavioural neuroscience, Cellular neuroscience, Development and control of behaviour, Pharmacology (non-clinical), Physiology and medicine (non-clinical)

  • Health and human sciences

    Clinical neuroscience

  • Other

    Publications, Science education at secondary level, Science policy, Scientific information provision, Other interests

  • Microbiology, immunology and developmental biology

    Developmental biology