News

  • Unit

    We are delighted to announce that Unit Programme Leader Dr David Dupret is the recipient of the Boehringer Ingelheim FENS Research Award for 2018.

    The Award is given every 2 years, after an open competition held across Europe, to an individual under 40 years of age who has made outstanding and innovative scientific contributions to any area of neuroscience research.

    This Award is sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim and is administered by the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS). David will receive his Award at the 2018 FENS Forum of Neurosciences, Europe’s pre-eminent neuroscience conference.

    Unit Deputy Director Professor Peter Magill commented “Everyone at the Unit is thrilled to see David’s vision, talent and achievements recognised in this way. David’s contributions to the Unit’s science and his field are exemplary”.

  • Unit

    Congratulations to Unit scientist Dr Huiling Tan on being awarded the title of University Research Lecturer by the University of Oxford.

    University Research Lecturer titles are conferred annually in recognition of an individual’s distinction in their field as well as their contributions to research, teaching and administration.

    Unit Director Professor Peter Brown commented “Huiling is a dedicated, independent early-career scientist of the highest calibre. This award is a testament to Huiling's outstanding track record in research as well as her leadership and mentoring.”

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  • Unit

    Congratulations to Unit scientist Dr Andrew Sharott on being awarded the title of Associate Professor by the University of Oxford.

    Associate Professor titles are conferred annually in recognition of an individual’s distinction in their field as well as their contributions to research, teaching and administration.

    Unit Director Professor Peter Brown commented “I have known Andrew since he was a Ph.D. student, and it has been most gratifying to see his career flourish over the years. Andrew is a truly versatile and inspired researcher, and this award is richly deserved.”

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  • Unit

    Congratulations to Unit scientist Dr David Dupret on being awarded the title of Associate Professor by the University of Oxford.

    Associate Professor titles are conferred annually in recognition of an individual’s distinction in their field as well as their contributions to research, teaching and administration.

    Unit Director Professor Peter Brown commented “David is a phenomenal researcher, passionate about his science and discipline. He is an example to us all.”

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  • Unit

    Over two weeks in July and August, the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit again hosted 5 school pupils enrolled on an innovative work-experience placement scheme that was organised in partnership with the charity in2scienceUK.

    The placement scheme was tailored for pupils from local state-funded schools to support their progress into university degrees and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). During their time in the Unit, the pupils worked alongside Unit scientists and received personalised mentoring to gain a wide variety of practical experiences as well as to learn more about key concepts and challenges in neuroscience, medical research, and the use of animals in scientific procedures. In a series of integrated workshops with in2scienceUK, the pupils also received guidance on university applications, wider information about STEM careers, and training in transferable skills. The pupils recorded their experiences and progress in blogs and images.

    Building on the successes of the inaugural work-experience scheme pioneered by the Unit in 2016, this year’s placement programme in Oxford was extended to 30 pupils, hosted in labs across nine Departments and two Divisions at the University.

    Deputy Director Professor Peter Magill commented “Another great fortnight working with the pupils and our in2scienceUK partners. We are delighted by the growth of the scheme in its second year at Oxford. The enthusiasm and uptake by the University’s wider research community has been fantastic. Engaging local school pupils is a priority for the Unit’s thriving Outreach Programme, and it has been a pleasure to lead on widening access and participation in STEM.”

  • Unit

    Earlier this month, Unit scientist Dr. Helen Barron took her research to the streets of Oxford as part of an outreach event run in partnership with Soapbox Science, a novel public engagement platform that focuses on promoting women scientists and the science they do.

    The event paired scientists with artists, encouraging them to work together to communicate challenging scientific concepts in new and exciting ways. A public space within Oxford was transformed into an arena where members of the public could take the opportunity to learn from, interact with, and question the scientists. Helen worked with musician Natasha Zielazinski and, together, they used music and song to communicate how memories are stored in the brain and expressed at the time of recall. Helen’s descriptions of her own research were interleaved with musical sessions in which audience members were invited to play the part of ‘neurons’. As neurons, the audience members used clapping and song to transfer information between themselves. This illustrated how electrical signals are passed between neurons, but also showed how ensembles of neurons can work together to support memory.

    Helen commented “The event was great fun - it provided an opportunity for me to explore novel ways to communicate my research to the general public. Our audience were eager to hear about neuroscience research, to ask questions, and engage in debate. Soapbox Science events such as this one provide a great platform to raise the profile of female scientists, and I would encourage other scientists to get on a soapbox and try it for themselves!”

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  • Unit

    We are pleased to announce that the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit is partnering again with the award-winning charity in2scienceUK to support a unique work-experience placement scheme for local school pupils who are considering higher education and careers in science, technology and engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.

    This year’s placement scheme builds on the successes of the inaugural pilot scheme that was co-devised and hosted by the Unit in 2016, as part of its flourishing Outreach Programme. This summer, the Unit will again host 5 pupils from state-funded schools across the city of Oxford. During their time in the Unit, the pupils will receive personalised mentoring from Unit scientists, and will be given opportunities to gain a wide variety of practical experiences as well as exposure to key concepts and challenges in neuroscience and medical research. In a series of integrated workshops with in2scienceUK, the pupils will also receive guidance on University applications, wider information about STEM careers, and training in transferable skills.

    Unit Deputy Director Professor Peter Magill commented “We are delighted to be working again with in2scienceUK. Last year’s placement scheme - a first for Oxford - was a huge success, and we are pleased to have paved the way for increased uptake of the scheme across the University this summer. We look forward to playing our part in widening access and participation in STEM.”

    The progress and activities of our in2scienceUK placement students can be followed on our Twitter account.

  • Unit

    Our congratulations go to Unit D.Phil. student Anna-Kristin Kaufmann for successfully defending her doctoral thesis, entitled “Functional Properties of the Intact and Compromised Midbrain Dopamine System”, in her viva voce examination on 7th July 2017.

    Anna’s examiners were Professor Ian Duguid (Centre for Integrative Physiology, University of Edinburgh) and Dr Mark Walton (Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford).

    Anna was supervised by Dr Paul Dodson, Professor Peter Magill and Professor Paul Bolam.

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  • Unit

    Congratulations to Unit administrative staff member Mrs Savita Anderson on winning the Director’s Award for Public Engagement for 2017.

    The Award is given annually, on the basis of nominations made by Unit members, to recognise and celebrate the exemplary contributions of an individual or small collective to the Unit’s extensive Outreach Programme.

    Savita received her Award from Unit Director Professor Peter Brown at a special ceremony held at the Unit’s biannual Science Day.

    Professor Brown commented “It gives us all great pleasure to reward Savita in this way. Savita has played key roles in organising the Unit’s public engagement activities over the last 2 years, and the success and impact of these activities stem from Savita’s energy, enthusiasm and logistics skills. This Award clearly reflects that Savita’s colleagues really value the first-class support that she gives them.”

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  • Unit

    The Unit held its fifth Science Day on Friday 30th June 2017. Ongoing and future research projects were the focus of discussion, and Unit members and visitors eagerly took the opportunity to give the constructive feedback that is needed to support collaboration and to foster cutting-edge research.

    There were 14 short talks and 9 poster presentations, most of which were given by the Unit’s early-career scientists. Unit Director Professor Peter Brown commented “Another fantastic day of science, and a great opportunity to take stock of our collective progress. It is always a pleasure to see the next generation of our talented scientists in action and to learn from them.”

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