News

We are pleased to welcome Carolina Reis to the Unit as an MRC-funded D.Phil. student in Professor Peter Brown’s Group and Dr Andrew Sharott’s Group.

Carolina originally graduated from the Instituto Politecnico do Porto, Portugal, with a B.Sc. in Neurophysiology. As part of Carolina’s B.Sc. degree, she completed a research project at King’s College Hospital, where she used a combination of electrical stimulation and intracranial recordings to explore the neuronal mechanisms underlying seizure onsets. Subsequently, Carolina obtained an M.Res. at University College London, where she worked with Associate Unit Member Dr Hayriye Cagnan on biophysical models of cortico-thalamic interactions describing transient beta oscillations in experimental Parkinsonism.

In 2017, Carolina secured an MRC Industrial Strategy Studentship and joined the Unit. During her D.Phil. studies, Carolina will be working to optimise phase-specific Deep Brain Stimulation for conditions like Essential Tremor. Carolina will be working closely with Dr Hayriye Cagnan, Dr Andrew Sharott and Professor Peter Brown in the Unit, as well as with Dr Timothy Denison (VP of Research and Core Technology at Medtronic).

We are pleased to welcome Moritz Möller to the Unit as an MRC-funded D.Phil. student in Rafal Bogacz’s Group.

Moritz originally graduated with a B.Sc. in Physics from the Friedrich Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, where he studied the generation of gravitational waves in a novel, post-Einsteinian theory of gravity. In 2017, Moritz completed a Master of Advanced Study (MA.St.) in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, from where he graduated with distinction. Whilst in Cambridge, Moritz wrote an essay on deep reinforcement learning, which sparked his interest in the mathematics of learning and decision making in the brain.

During Moritz’s D.Phil. thesis work in the Unit, we will pursue his interests in the mathematical formulation of cognition and learning. His research will be focused on decision processes in the basal ganglia, and aims to unify reinforcement learning with the drift-diffusion model.

We are pleased to welcome Giulio Spagnol to the Unit as an MRC-funded D.Phil. student in Professor Peter Magill’s Group.

Giulio graduated with a B.Phil. in Philosophy from the University of Milan, Italy, and then completed his M.Sc. in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience at Maastricht University, Netherlands. During the second year of Giulio’s Masters course, he worked as a visiting student at New York University, USA, where his research was focused on an experimental approach for dissecting the neural circuit basis of thalamic visual attention.

During Giulio’s D.Phil. thesis work in the Unit, he will use in vivo electrophysiological recordings, cell-type-selective manipulations, computational methods and behavioural analysis to elucidate the functional organisation of the thalamus and its regulation of movement in health and Parkinsonism.

We are delighted to welcome Charlie Clarke-Williams back to the Unit as an MRC-funded D.Phil. student in the Dupret Group.

Charlie originally graduated with a B.A. in Neuroscience from the University of Oxford, during which he undertook a highly successful Final Honours School research project in the Unit under the supervision of Dr David Dupret. Charlie then completed an M.Res. degree at the University of Bristol, where he investigated the relationship between addiction and emotional disorders.

Charlie’s new thesis research in the Unit is focused on the assessment of neuronal network dynamics underlying drug-paired memories, and how these contribute to drug-seeking behaviours.

We are delighted to welcome Roman Rothaermel back to the Unit as a Wellcome Trust-funded D.Phil. student in the Dupret Group.

As part of Roman’s recent M.Sc. in Neuroscience studies at the University of Oxford, he worked on a research project with Unit scientists Dr Gido van de Ven and Dr David Dupret to develop an unsupervised feature extraction framework for interneuron classification.

The goal of Roman’s new thesis research is to determine how the motivational state of an animal shapes its memory consolidation and retrieval on a large-scale systems level.

We are pleased to welcome Hayley Reeve to the Unit as a BBSRC-funded Research Technician working in Dr David Dupret’s Group. Hayley will be supporting the Group’s research into neuronal dynamics in the hippocampus, using a combination of behavioural, electrophysiological and optogenetic techniques.

Hayley graduated with an M.A. (hons.) degree in Psychology from the University of St Andrews in 2015, and stayed on to complete an M.Res. in Psychology, graduating in 2016. Hayley’s research at St Andrews focused on socioaffective behaviour in rats. In 2016, Hayley became a Research Technician at the University of Sussex, where she contributed to research on the neuronal substrates of appetitive conditioning in the prefrontal cortex.

We are pleased to welcome Dr Emma Falato to the Unit as a visiting scientist. Emma received her M.D. in 2011 from Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, where she is now training to be a neurologist. She is interested in the neurophysiological basis of motor control and entrainment of brain oscillations. Emma will work for 6 months in Professor Peter Brown’s Group on a project for her final thesis, aimed at investigating the effect of transcranial alternating current stimulation on motor cortex oscillatory activity during preparation for movement.

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”.

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.”

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.”