Alex Dunn

University position

PhD student
Supervised by Dr Susanna Mierau, Prof Stephen Eglen & Prof Ole Paulsen


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


Home page

Research Themes

Developmental Neuroscience

Systems and Computational Neuroscience


I'm a PhD student studying the development of cellular-scale brain networks in vitro. I grow primary murine neuronal cultures and record spontaneous activity on microelectrode arrays (MEAs). I also analyse MEA recordings of stem-cell-derived human tissue including cerebral organoid slices. I'm interested in network formation, topology and dynamics and currently focus mainly on graph theoretical metrics.

As part of my PhD, I am investigating how networks containing Mecp2-deficient neurons are disrupted. This may have translational implications as Mecp2 mutations cause most cases of Rett Syndtome. Using optognetic manipulation, I am also looking at the role of inhibitory neocortical interneurons in these networks as pathology in these cells is heavily linked to Rett Syndrome.

Research Focus


graph theory

Rett Syndrome




Clinical conditions

Rett Syndrome


Cell culture

Computational modelling

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Micro/multi electrode arrays


Organoids (cerebral and spinal)


No collaborators listed

Associated News Items



    Akarca D, Dunn AWE, Hornauer PJ, Ronchi S, Fiscella M, Wang C, Terrigno M, Jagasia R, Vértes PE, Mierau SB, Paulsen O, Eglen SJ, Hierlemann A, Astle DE, Schröter M (2022), “Homophilic wiring principles underpin neuronal network topology in vitro” bioRxiv 2022.03.09.483605


    Szebényi K, Wenger LMD, Sun Y, Dunn AWE, Limegrover CA, Gibbons GM, Conci E, Paulsen O, Mierau SB, Balmus G, Lakatos A (2021), “Human ALS/FTD brain organoid slice cultures display distinct early astrocyte and targetable neuronal pathology” Nature Neuroscience 24: 1542-1554