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Bethan O'Connor

DPhil Student

I completed my BSc (Hons) in Psychology with Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Leicester. My undergraduate research dissertation took place in Dr. Andrew Young’s laboratory, focusing on the local regulation of striatal dopamine transmission by muscarinic acetylcholine receptors. I investigated how these mechanisms may be altered in schizophrenia, utilising sub-chronic phencyclidine pre-treatment.

Following this, I moved to Drexel University in Philadelphia, where I worked as a Research Assistant in Dr Rodrigo España’s laboratory. Here, I was involved in a wide range of research related to alterations in midbrain dopamine transmission associated with cocaine self-administration.

I was then awarded a Medical Sciences Graduate School Studentship in conjunction with the Dan Norman Scholarship at Balliol College, to study for a DPhil in Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at the University of Oxford. In October 2021, I joined Prof Stephanie Cragg’s laboratory, where my project will explore the role that the dopamine transporter plays in regulating plasticity in striatal dopamine release. I will predominantly use ex-vivo fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and voltage imaging to examine this.