BA, Neuroscience & Biology, St. Mary's College of Maryland, USA
Education & Training
Before joining the Cragg Group in October 2016, I studied at St. Mary’s College of Maryland reading for a BA in Neuroscience and Biology. During this time, I undertook a research position in the laboratory of Aileen Bailey investigating the role of orexin in the basal forebrain on cognitive flexibility. For my undergraduate dissertation, I collaborated with the laboratory of Brian Mathur at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. My dissertation focused on targeting striatal fast-spiking interneurons in a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease using an in vivo optogenetic approach. Upon graduating, I returned to Brian's lab as a postbaccalaureate research assistant where I investigated the role of striatal fast-spiking interneurons in encoding action velocity dynamics using microendoscopic in vivo calcium imaging technologies.
I am broadly interested in how striatal microcircuits encode for action learning, selection and refinement. For my DPhil project at The University of Oxford, I am working to elucidate how nigrostriatal co-transmission of GABA from dopaminergic afferents regulates striatal microcircuitry and therefore striatal output under regular physiological conditions and in Parkinson's disease. To answer these questions I am utilizing optogenetic, fast-scan cyclic voltammetry and electrophysiological techniques. As to understand how a progressive denervation of striatal Dopamine and GABA release may affect striatal microcircuitry function, I am using an α-synuclein overexpressing transgenic mouse model of parkinsonism, developed collaboratively here at the Oxford Parkinson's Disease Center (OPDC; www.opdc.ox.ac.uk).
White MG. et al, (2018), Cell Reports
Patton MH. et al, (2016), Neuropsychopharmacology, 41, 1831 - 1840
Illuminating the Undergraduate Behavioral Neuroscience Laboratory: A Guide for the in vivo Application of Optogenetics in Mammalian Model Organisms
Roberts BM. et al, (2016), The Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education
Roberts BM. et al, (2015), BIOS, 86, 134 - 143
Piantadosi PT. et al, (2015), Brain Research, 1594, 215 - 222
Roberts BM. et al, (2014), Journal of Medical Primatology, 43, 213 - 216
Ex vivo Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry
Whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology
In vivo calcium imaging of genetically defined neuronal populations using miniature fluorescence microscopes
In vivo and ex vivo optogenetics and chemogenetics