Alex Dunn

University position

PhD student
Supervised by Dr Susanna Mierau and Dr Stephen Eglen


Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience


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Research Themes

Developmental Neuroscience

Systems and Computational Neuroscience


My PhD research aims to characterise developmental differences between wild-type and Mecp2-deficient cellular-scale networks. I record from murine neuronal cell cultures using multielectrode arrays. I apply various spike and burst detection methods and identify network features such as small-world coefficient. These features will be used as an input for machine learning to test whether cultures can be classified into their genotypes according to these features. I have also used optogenetic excitation and inhibiton of parvalbumin-poisitive inhibitory interneurons to test how networks are disrupted. This may add to understanding of Rett Syndrome as this is caused by mutation to MECP2 and is associated with disruption to PV interneurons.

I have also applied my analysis pipeline to in 3D human iPSC-derived cerebral organoids comparing healthy and disease models over time and am also using generative models to identify common growth rules between networks across scales and species.

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

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