News

  • Unit

    Congratulations to Unit Postdoctoral Neuroscientist Dr Natalie Doig on winning the Director’s Award for Public Engagement for 2016.

    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.

    Natalie received her Award from Unit Director Professor Peter Brown at a special ceremony held today. Professor Brown commented “It gives us all great pleasure to reward Natalie in this way. Natalie’s energy and enthusiasm for public engagement are remarkable, and she has personally delivered engagement activities of the highest quality and impact.”

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  • Unit

    Congratulations to Unit student Gido van de Ven who recently received an award from the Vice-Chancellor’s Fund, a University-wide scheme intended to assist students of exceptional academic merit in the final stages of their D.Phil. studies. Gido’s doctoral research, supervised by Dr David Dupret, is focussed on the role of hippocampal sharp-wave/ripples in the consolidation of new cell assemblies and memories.

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  • Unit

    Congratulations to Unit scientist Dr Helen Barron on her award of an Early Career Researcher start-up grant from the University’s John Fell OUP Research Fund. Working with Unit Programme Leader Dr David Dupret and other scientists in Oxford, Helen will use the grant to carry out research on the mechanisms of memory in animals and humans.

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  • Unit

    The Unit held its third Science Day on Friday 10th June 2016. Ongoing and future research projects were the focus of discussion, and Unit members and visitors enthusiastically took the opportunity to give the constructive criticism that is needed to foster collaborative, world-leading research.

    There were 16 short talks and 6 poster presentations, most of which were given by the Unit’s students and early-career scientists.  Unit Director Peter Brown commented “What a tremendous day! Excellent science, and a meeting that was clearly enjoyed by all. It was a pleasure to experience such a vibrant gathering.”

  • Unit

    We are pleased to welcome Ahmet Tugrul Ozdemir to the Unit. Tugrul has joined Dr David Dupret’s Group for six months as an academic visitor in order to learn cell assembly analysis.

    Tugrul studied Molecular Biology and Genetics with a minor in Psychology at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and spent a year as an exchange student at the University of California Davis.  During his undergraduate education, he also carried out summer projects at Professor Lu Chen’s laboratory at Stanford University, USA, and Professor Peter Somogyi’s laboratory at the University of Oxford.

    Tugrul is currently working towards his doctoral degree under the supervision of Professor Thomas Klausberger at the Medical University of Vienna in Austria. During his doctoral research, Tugrul aims to understand the distinct contributions of different principal cells in cortex to working memory and cognitive flexibility.

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  • Unit

    We are delighted to welcome Professor John Reynolds for a period of sabbatical research in the Unit. John is currently Head of Translational Neuroscience at the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand, and his sabbatical at the University of Oxford is co-hosted by Unit collaborator Professor Stephanie Cragg.

    John is a leading expert on the roles of the chemical messenger dopamine in shaping nerve cell activity and the brain mechanisms of learning and movement, research themes that are intensively studied in the Unit. John will use his time in the Unit to advance his own research as well as collaborative projects with the Magill Group and Sharott Group.

     

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  • Unit

    Our congratulations go to Unit D.Phil. student Farid Garas for successfully defending his doctoral thesis, entitled “Structural and functional heterogeneity of striatal interneuron populations”, in his viva voce examination on 25th May 2016.

    Farid’s examiners were Professor Gilad Silberberg (Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden) and Professor Zoltan Molnar (Department of Physiology, Anatomy & Genetics, University of Oxford).

    Farid was supervised by Dr Andrew Sharott and Professor Peter Magill, and was originally recruited after completing a highly successful Final Honours School research project in the Unit as part of his B.A. in Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford.

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  • Unit

    On 19th May, Associate Unit member Paul Bolam and Unit D.Phil. student Anna-Kristin Kaufmann visited The Cotswold School to engage with pupils studying GCSE Ethics and A-level Biology. Paul and Anna started their visit with two separate groups of Year 10 students studying ethics, and led interactive discussion sessions focused on the use of animals in medical research. Paul and Anna highlighted some medical treatments that have been developed from research using animals, why animals are still needed for medical research, and how animals are used in brain research. They finished by discussing how animal use is regulated in the UK as well as the broader interactions of society with animals. Over the school lunch break, Paul and Anna talked with Year 11 pupils studying biology. Discussion topics included how scientists study the brain, what goes wrong in Parkinson’s disease, how Parkinson’s disease is treated, and the research that is being done to better understand the disease and to identify new therapies for it.

     

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  • Unit

    We are pleased to welcome Matthew Williams for his Final Honours School research project in the Magill Group. Matthew is currently studying for his B.A. in Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford. During Matthew’s time in the Unit, he will work on a project investigating the differential vulnerability of dopamine neurons in rodent models of Parkinson’s disease.

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  • Unit

    We are pleased to welcome Calum McIntyre for his Final Honours School research project in the Magill Group. Calum is currently studying for his B.A. in Medical Sciences at the University of Oxford. During Calum’s time in the Unit, he will work closely with Dr Natalie Doig on a project investigating the structural basis of communication between the striatum and external globus pallidus.

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