Alex Dunn


University position

PhD student
Supervised by Dr Susanna Mierau and Dr Stephen Eglen

Departments

Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience

Email

awed2@cam.ac.uk

Home page

https://noggin.pdn.cam.ac.uk/

Research Themes

Developmental Neuroscience

Systems and Computational Neuroscience

Interests

Mutation to MECP2 in humans caused Rett Syndrome in which girls develop normally for around 18 months before sudden decline in cognitive, motor and social abilities. Mecp2-deficiency has various molecular, cellular and synaptic effects however the downstream consequences on microscale network function are not fully understood. In my PhD, I aim to identify network-level developmental differences between wild-type and Mecp2-deficient primary dissociated neuronal cultures (2D, mouse-derived). I take multielectrode array recordings and apply various computational modelling techniques. I compare spike detection algorithms before examining network features such as small-world coefficient (derived from graph theory) and, in future, hope to apply machine learning to test whether cultures can be classified into their genotypes according to these features.

I am also currently testing these methods in organoids as part of a collaboration with Dr Andras Lakatos’ lab.

Research Focus

Keywords

graph theory

Rett Syndrome

MECP2

network

development

Clinical conditions

Rett Syndrome

Equipment

Cell culture

Computational modelling

Electrophysiological recording techniques

Micro/multi electrode arrays

Microscopy

Organoids (cerebral and spinal)

Collaborators

Cambridge

George Gibbons

Andras Lakatos

Associated News Items