Jessica Myatt

We are delighted to announce that one of our DPhil students, Jessica Myatt, has started a competitive 12-week research placement funded by the UKRI UK-Canada Globalink Doctoral Exchange Scheme.

In her placement project, Jess will investigate the neuropathological mechanisms of psychiatric disorders, focusing on those with early onset. Joining the Computational Brain Anatomy (CoBrA) laboratory at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute (McGill University, Canada), she will gain experience with in vivo neuroimaging techniques, like functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), and behavioural tasks in animal models of neuropsychiatric disorders.


We are pleased to welcome Oana Puicar to the Unit as a visiting student.

Oana is an undergraduate student from the University of Manchester (UK), who is joining the Stagg group for a 10-month research placement. Her research focuses on better understanding the pathophysiological mechanisms of stroke. Specifically, Oana is using multi-modal neuroimaging techniques, such as functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging (MRSI), to investigate how these MRI metrics of brain activity and neurochemicals relate to motor recovery in chronic stroke survivors. To expand her knowledge of techniques used in human research, Oana has also been involved in projects using non-invasive brain stimulation, such as Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), and behavioural motor tasks.



We are pleased to welcome Ilenia Paparella to the Unit as a visiting student.

Ilenia is a PhD student from the University of Liège (Belgium), working on a multimodal approach combining neuroimaging and electrophysiology to find new biomarkers of stroke recovery. Her aim is to find neural signatures in acute patients that predict good motor recovery and prognosis. 

During her 6-month visit to the BNDU, Ilenia will join the Stagg group to expand her knowledge of Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS) data acquisition and analysis. 

A photo of Professor Wolf-Julian Neumann (left), Christoph Wiest (centre), and Professor Tim Denison (right).

Our congratulations go to Unit D.Phil. student Christoph Wiest for successfully defending his doctoral thesis, entitled “Modulation of basal ganglia local field potentials by deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease and dystonia”, in his viva voce examination on 24th February 2023.

Christoph’s viva examiners were Professor Wolf-Julian Neumann (Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany) and Professor Tim Denison (University of Oxford).

Christoph was supervised at the MRC BNDU by Professor Huiling Tan, Associate Professor Andrew Sharott, Dr. Flavie Torrecillos, and Professor Peter Brown.

Portrait photo of Jennifer Blackmore.

We are pleased to welcome Jennifer Blackmore to the Unit as a Research Assistant in the Magill Group.

Jennifer graduated with a B.Sc. (hons.) in Biochemistry from the University of Warwick in 2022. Her 4-year degree included a Placement Year during which she worked as a laboratory assistant in industry, fulfilling a number of roles related to research and diagnostic testing. Jennifer completed her undergraduate research dissertation in the field of neuroscience, carrying out detailed anatomical studies that were designed to elucidate seizure-related phenotypic changes in brain microglia in mouse models of epilepsy.

Here in the Unit, Jennifer will provide research support for the development and delivery of novel in vivo platforms for drug discovery in Parkinson’s disease.

portrait photo of Victor Villar Balmy

We are pleased to welcome Victor Villar Balmy to the Unit as a visiting student.

Victor is a master's student from the Technical University of Denmark. During his 6-month visit to the BNDU, Victor will join the Denison and Stagg groups, focusing on the characterisation of artefacts in the integration of Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) and Electroencephalography (EEG). His work aims to reduce these artefacts and successfully integrate these two techniques, primarily by using online correction methods. This project will be building on previous research in the Denison group by Unit DPhil student Karen Wendt.

Portrait photo of Dr Teris Tam

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Teris Tam to the Unit as a Postdoctoral Neuroscientist in the Magill Group.

Teris originally graduated with a B.Sc. and M.Phil. in Biomedical Engineering from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, where he helped develop a brain-computer interface to control a hand exoskeleton for stroke rehabilitation. Teris completed his Ph.D. in Neural Engineering at the National University of Singapore in 2018. As one element of his Ph.D. research, Teris investigated real-time neural signal processing and decoding from human peripheral nerves as part of a larger project on neuroprosthetics. Teris then worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh, where he studied the neuronal basis of spatial memory in the medial entorhinal cortex.

Here in the Unit, Teris will be working as part of a Collaborative Research Network supported by Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s. Teris will be using photometry, electrophysiology, optogenetics and behavioural analyses to elucidate the signalling dynamics of dopamine and other neuromodulators in the striatum in health and experimental Parkinsonism.

Charlotte outside the Royal Institution building in London

We are delighted to announce that one of our DPhil students, Charlotte Collingwood, has started a competitive three-month internship with the Royal Institution of Great Britain.

The Ri is a charity that works to improve the relationship between scientists and the public, supporting open access and scientific discourse for all. During this internship, Charlotte will work with their digital media team to create engaging content, including YouTube videos, livestreamed talks, written blogs, podcast episodes, TikToks, and more!

We can't wait to see what she produces with them, and wish her good luck!

Portrait photo of Morgane

We are pleased to welcome Morgane Storey to the Unit as a visiting student.

Morgane is a Master's student from the Ecole Normale Superieure of Lyon, currently finishing her Master’s at the Ecole Normale Superieure of Paris. For her first Master’s degree project, Morgane worked on the link between olfactory deficits and depression in mice in the Murthy laboratory (Harvard University).

To complete her Master’s degree, Morgane has joined the Magill Group for a 5-month internship, during which she will expand her knowledge on confocal microscopy, and advanced analysis of neuroanatomical images. She is being supervised by Dr Camille Loiseau in a project that aims to investigate the cellular processes that trigger and orchestrate the formation of Lewy pathology.

Portrait photo of Dr Alekhya Mandali

We bid a fond farewell to Dr. Alekhya Mandali as she leaves the Unit to take up her new position of Lecturer in Computational Neuroscience at the University of Sheffield.

Alekhya has been working in the Unit as part of the Cagnan Group, where she has delivered a series of important studies on the relationship between non-invasive brain stimulation and cognitive control.

Unit Director Peter Magill commented “It has been a pleasure and a privilege to host Alekhya in the Unit for her postdoctoral training. We look forward to exploring further opportunities to collaborate with Alekhya as she establishes her independent research programme in Sheffield. We will miss working with Alekya in the Unit, but it is a comfort to know that it is ‘au revoir’ and not ‘goodbye’.”