BA(Hons) 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(Hons) 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.
In vivo calcium imaging of genetically defined neuronal populations using miniature fluorescence microscopes
Whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology
Ex vivo Fast-scan cyclic voltammetry
In vivo and ex vivo optogenetics and chemogenetics
Neuronal micro- and macro-circuit mapping
Motor cortex innervation of the dorsolateral striatum. Image courtesy of the Mouse Connectome Project.
Ethanol Disinhibits Dorsolateral Striatal Medium Spiny Neurons Through Activation of A Presynaptic Delta Opioid Receptor
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
High concentrations of L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) induces apoptosis in a human cervical cancer cell line (HeLa) through the intrinsic and extrinsic pathways
Roberts BM. et al, (2015), BIOS, 86, 134 - 143
Orexin receptor activity in the basal forebrain alters performance on an olfactory discrimination task
Piantadosi PT. et al, (2015), Brain Research, 1594, 215 - 222
Mammary carcinoma in a male rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) : histopathology and immunohistochemistry of ductal carcinoma in situ
Roberts BM. et al, (2014), Journal of Medical Primatology, 43, 213 - 216
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).