DPhil, MSc, BSc
Postdoctoral Research Scientist
For many years, my research has been focussed on early brain development, and in particular on the subplate layer and the claustrum. The subplate is a partially transient structure separating the cortical grey matter from the underlying white matter, the claustrum is remarkable for its high degree of connectivity with almost all regions of the cortex.
I have contributed significantly to identifying different cell types that comprise the subplate layer in rodents, using microarrays, RNAseq technology and transgenic mouse lines. Subplate-enriched genes are most commonly co-expressed in cortical layer 5 (L5), and both groups of neurons target similar thalamic structures with their axonal output. Curiously, while many of the genes with subplate enriched expression are also expressed in the claustrum, a subset of ‘subplate marker’ genes are specifically absent from claustrum, but expressed in all tissue surrounding it.
A second strand of my research in brain development and brain function more generally is the role of neuronal activity during brain development. Specifically, I use SNAP25 conditional knock-out in selected cell populations to abolish action-potential evoked neurotransmitter release, thereby largely ‘silencing’ the output of developing cortical neurons. This has consequences both at the circuit level, as well as for the viability of individual neurons and their axons, and surprisingly varied behavioural consequences depending on the particular cell population silenced.
I work as part-time PDRS in the Vyazovskiy Group, and have previously worked in the labs of Adam Packer, Francis Szele and Zoltán Molnár, always with a strong focus on neuroanatomy and brain development. I am also a Lecturer for Neuroscience at Trinity College.
I completed my DPhil (PhD) as a Wellcome Trust funded Biological Sciences Scholar at St Hugh’s College (Oxford), under the joint supervision of Ole Paulsen and Zoltán Molnár in 2007. I first came to Oxford for my MSc in Neuroscience in 2002, after completing my undergraduate degree in in Combined Sciences (Physiology, Genetics and Physics) at the University of Lancaster, UK.
Intravital Imaging of the Murine Subventricular Zone with Three Photon Microscopy.
Sun B. et al, (2022), Cereb Cortex, 32, 3057 - 3067
Temporal origin of mouse claustrum and development of its cortical projections
Hoerder-Suabedissen A. et al, (2022)
Cross-hierarchical plasticity of corticofugal projections to dLGN after neonatal monocular enucleation.
Giasafaki C. et al, (2022), J Comp Neurol
A multifaceted architectural framework of the mouse claustrum complex
Grimstvedt JS. et al, (2022), bioRxiv
A role for the cortex in sleep-wake regulation.
Krone LB. et al, (2021), Nat Neurosci, 24, 1210 - 1215