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Elections are now open - Cambridge Neuroscience Forum!

Election 1

Systems and Computational Neuroscience Representative



1. Dr David Belin

Lecturer in Neuroscience, Department of Pharmacology.


His research interests are the psychological, behavioural and neural mechanisms subserving individual vulnerability to develop compulsive disorders such as addiction and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. David's research spans from experimental psychology to neurophysiology and neuropharmacology to molecular neuroscience. Using preclinical models of psychiatric disorders, David's research aims at unraveling the cellular mechanisms within the corticostriatal circuitry that facilitate the development of compulsive habits in vulnerable individuals. David's group nourishes collaborations with the labs of Pr Barry Everitt, Dr Jeff Dalley, Pr Trevor Robbins as well as Dr John Apergis-Schoute and Dr Ewan Smith. 


2. Dr Jon Simons

Reader in Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology


My lab's research investigates the role of functional brain systems that support human memory.  We combine a number of methods, including behavioural studies, functional neuroimaging (fMRI), electrophysiology (EEG/MEG), and brain stimulation (TMS/tDCS).  In recent years, I have worked to open up several research facilities for use of researchers around Cambridge, and am keen to encourage mechanisms for enabling better interdisciplinary links between researchers in basic and clinical sciences.


Election 2

City center PhD representative



PhD (city)

1. Richard Bethlehem

Autism Research Centre, Department of Psychiatry (Baron-Cohen Lab)


I am currently in the second year of my PhD at the Autism Research Centre (Department of Psychiatry) with Prof. Simon  Baron-Cohen. My research focuses on studying functional brain networks in adults with autism and the effects of oxytocin on both behaviour and these functional brain networks. For this I use mainly functional MRI and EEG and am currently running an oxytocin administration study in both a healthy and autistic group. In addition to my research I also currently serve as the graduate representative on the school council and faculty board of the clinical school and am an active member of the PhD-Post-Doc Forum GRASP.


2. Maxime Fouyssac

Department of Pharmacology (Belin Lab)


Maxime Fouyssac is a first year PhD student at Downing College. He works in David Belin's lab in the department of Pharmacology and in close collaboration with Jennifer Murray in Professor Everitt's lab in the department of Psychology. Maxime is interested in the contribution of striatal astrocytes to the neurobiological mechanisms subserving the development of addiction to cocaine and heroin. He also works in collaboration with Peter Davenport from Dr James Ajioka in the department of Pathology to develop new cellular counting systems to identify and manipulate neuronal ensembles involved in the development of compulsive drug seeking habits.

Maxime was trained as a molecular biologist in France before joining the Belin lab in which he has been trained to experimental psychology. Maxime has developed a new model of compulsive heroin seeking behaviour in rats and has recently demonstrated that astrocytes were involved in cocaine-induced adaptations in the density of striatal dopamine transporter.



3. Sally Jennings

Cambridge Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Group (CIDDRG), Department of Psychiatry (Holland Lab)


I am currently in the second year of my PhD at CIDDRG, Department of Psychiatry, with Professor Holland. People with Down's Syndrome age prematurely and are at very high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. My research aims to investigate whether a technique called 'EEG' has the potential to both measure the effects of aging on the brain and indicate early stages of Alzheimer's disease, in Down's Syndrome. In addition to my research, I am one of the founding members of CamBRAIN – the Cambridge Neuroscience Society. I will also be president of the society, for the the coming year. CamBRAIN aims to bring together young investigators, from across the University, with an interest in neuroscience.



Election 3

City Centre Post-doc representative



1. Chiara Giuliano

Department of Psychology (Everitt Lab)


I am a post-doctoral Research Associate working within the laboratory of Professor Barry Everitt in the department of Psychology. I am interested in identifying the neural processes of and potential treatments for impulsive/compulsive disorders, such as drug addiction and binge-eating disorders. Taking drugs might begin as a voluntary action but may transform over time in a response habit triggered and maintained by drug-associated stimuli. Specifically I study the neurobiological mechanisms regulating the propensity induced by drug-associated environmental stimuli to maintain seeking behaviour and to relapse to drug (or highly palatable food) use after short or even prolonged periods of abstinence.


2. Rolf Ypma

Department of Psychiatry (Bullmore Lab)


I am an applied mathematician, working on applying network theory to structural and functional connectivity. I think collaborations are strongest between scientists with complementary skills; therefore I highly value initiatives like Cambridge Neuroscience that bring together researchers with different backgrounds. My main focus is on applying graph theoretical methods to functional connectivity in autism, with the aim to elucidate genetic and gender effects. I am also interested in the more fundamental biological underpinnings of large-scale brain networks. I therefore work on statistically deriving brain networks from viral tracing data in mouse, and comparing these to detailed cytoarchitectural and gene expression data in the same species. In my spare time, I co-chair the department of Psychiatry postdoc committee.



Election 4

Addenbrooke’s site Post-doc representative




1. Annemieke Apergis-Schoute

Department of Psychiatry (Sahakian/Robbins Lab)


Dr. Annemieke Apergis-Schoute studies Obsessive Compulsive Disorder patients combining neuroimaging with cognitive testing to investigate the neural circuitry that underlies inflexible behaviour seen in these patients. She is also involved in a deep brain stimulation project in collaboration with UCL to restore flexible behaviour in OCD patients with very severe and treatment resistant OCD. She works on a Wellcome Trust funded grant in collaboration with Prof Robbins and Prof Sahakian.

Posted on 25/06/2015

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