Advert image with picture of a brain cell and text highlighting available studentships.

We are excited to announce that the MRC Brain Network Dynamics Unit has up to 7 MRC-funded studentships available from October 2021 to support Ph.D. (D.Phil.) projects as part of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences.

The MRC-funded D.Phil. projects on offer are:

Project 1. Interfacing with the brain for therapy. Supervisor: Associate Professor Huiling Tan

Project 2 (up to 2 studentships). Investigating neuronal dynamics of memory circuits. Supervisor: Professor David Dupret

Project 3 (up to 2 studentships). Computational model of dopamine function. Supervisor: Professor Rafal Bogacz

Project 4 (up to 2 studentships). Neuronal cell and circuit substrates for purposeful movements. Supervisor: Professor Peter Magill

 

The closing date for applications is 12.00 midday UK time on Friday 8th January 2021.

See our Studentships page for more details on projects and how to apply.

We welcome applications from both Home Students and International Students. Candidates can apply for more than one D.Phil. project. Candidates are strongly encouraged to contact project supervisors in advance of applying.

A portrait photo of Maaike van Swieten on the occasion of her D.Phil.  viva voce..

Our congratulations go to Unit D.Phil. student Maaike van Swieten for successfully defending her doctoral thesis, entitled “Physiological modulation of learning and decision-making”, in her viva voce examination on 18th November 2020.

Maaike’s viva examiners were Professor Michael Frank (Carney Center for Computational Brain Science, Brown University, USA) and Professor Chris Summerfield (Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford). The viva took place remotely via digital conferencing.

Maaike was supervised by Professor Rafal Bogacz, Associate Professor Sanjay Manohar, and Professor Peter Magill.

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portrait photo of Katja Hartwich

We are pleased to welcome Dr Katja Hartwich to the Unit. Katja has joined the Dupret Group as a Research Assistant to provide specialist scientific support to the Group’s projects related to memory-guided behaviour using in vivo network recordings and anatomical techniques.

Katja graduated with a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Marburg, Germany, and then with a M.Sc. in Animal Physiology from the University of Tübingen, Germany. She completed her doctoral studies in Biology at the Center for Brain Research, Vienna, Austria, and the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit, University of Oxford, under the supervision of Prof. T. Klausberger. During her dissertation project, Katja studied how different types of GABAergic interneurons in the rat prefrontal cortex contribute to local and hippocampal network oscillations. In 2009, Katja joined the University of Oxford, where she has worked in three roles: As an MRC Career Development Fellow in Neuroscience at the MRC Anatomical Neuropharmacology Unit in the group of Prof. P. Somogyi where she investigated the activity of hippocampal interneurons during behaviour (until 2011); as a Graduate Research Assistant in Medical Sciences at the Department of Psychology in the group of Prof. J. Duncan (until 2015); and as a Research Technician in Neuroscience at the Department of Pharmacology in the group of Prof. P. Somogyi (until 2020). Katja has thus developed a broad laboratory skill-set spanning electrophysiology, anatomy, optogenetics, microscopy and behavioural analyses.

A portrait photo of Professor David Dupret

Many congratulations to Unit Group Leader David Dupret on being awarded the title of Professor of Neuroscience by the University of Oxford.

Titles of Full Professor are conferred annually in recognition of an individual’s significant influence on their field of study, as well as their track records in teaching and academic citizenship.

Unit Director Professor Peter Brown commented “I am thrilled that David’s remarkable research defining the neural basis of memory-guided behaviour has been recognised by the University in this way. The conferment of the title Professor of Neuroscience reflects both the considerable strength of David’s research and his commitment to teaching. Together with the rest of my colleagues at the Unit, I congratulate David on this major achievement!”

Alt text: A photo of Dr Damian Herz giving a presentation at the MRC Unit

We are delighted to welcome Dr Damian Herz back to the Unit as a DFF Postdoctoral Fellow in the Group led by Professor Peter Brown and Associate Professor Huiling Tan.

Damian previously worked at the Unit as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow in the Brown Group. Damian is particularly interested in adaptive Deep Brain Stimulation and decision making. His new research project, which is supported by the Danish Research Fund, will investigate both in people with Parkinson’s. The project will also involve collaboration with Professor Rafal Bogacz at the Unit, as well as with the Biomedical Statistics and Multimodal Signal Processing Unit at Mainz University Hospital, Germany.

A portrait photo of Huiling Tan

Congratulations to Unit researcher Dr Huiling Tan 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 wider contributions to research, teaching and administration.

Unit Director Professor Peter Brown commented “This award is richly deserved. Huiling has established a sophisticated and innovative programme of translational research, which is now flourishing.”

A portrait photo of Hayriye Cagnan

Congratulations to Unit researcher Dr Hayriye Cagnan 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 wider contributions to research, teaching and administration.

Unit Director Professor Peter Brown commented “This award is a fitting testament to Hayriye’s strong research performance and other achievements. Hayriye has established a portfolio of important work leveraging modelling and dynamical systems theory, and is sure to continue to be highly successful in her career.”

A portrait photo of Stephen McHugh

Congratulations to Unit scientist Dr Stephen McHugh 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 “This award is great news, and marks Stephen’s continued progression to an independent researcher. Stephen is both dedicated and talented in his academic work, and this award is thoroughly deserved.”

Benoit Duchet after his successful viva.

Our congratulations go to Unit D.Phil. student Benoit Duchet for successfully defending his doctoral thesis, entitled “Mathematical models of pathological oscillatory activity and effects of deep brain stimulation in movement disorders”, in his viva voce examination held on 15th June 2020.

Benoit’s viva examiners were Professor Roman Borisyuk (University of Exeter) and Professor Alain Goriely (Department of Mathematics, University of Oxford). The viva took place remotely via digital conferencing.

Benoit was co-supervised by Professor Rafal Bogacz and Dr Christian Bick.

A portrait photo of Peter Brown

Many congratulations to Unit Director Professor Peter Brown on the announcement today of his election to the Fellowship of The Academy of Medical Sciences.

The Academy of Medical Sciences is an independent body in the UK, with a mission to advance biomedical and health research and its translation into benefits for society. Promoting excellence is one the Academy’s key objectives. Fellowship of the Academy is based on exceptional contributions to the medical sciences. A small number of new Fellows are elected each year.

Peter commented “I am delighted to be elected, and I thank current and past members of my team and the wider MRC Unit for their terrific support and hard work.”

Unit Deputy Director Pete Magill commented: “We are all thrilled for Peter. This honour is richly deserved and long overdue! Peter is a true pioneer in the field of biomedical research, not only because he has generated new and important scientific knowledge but also because he is leveraging it to tangibly advance human health and welfare.”