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Bradley Roberts

BA(Hons) Neuroscience & Biology, St. Mary's College of Maryland, USA

Postgraduate Student

Biography

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. 

Research Techniques

In vivo calcium imaging of genetically-defined neuronal populations

Whole cell patch-clamp electrophysiology

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.

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Research Interests

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).