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Elise Meijer

Postgraduate student

I joined the lab in October 2019 as a DPhil candidate under cosupervision of Professor Zoltán Molnár and Associate Professor Vladyslav Vyazovskiy. I am interested in the regulation of vigilance states by the interplay between cortical and subcortical networks. To study this question, I make use of viral tracing, electrophysiological analysis, and behavioural assessment. The goal of my research is to understand how signals from the internal and external environments are integrated and translated into states of cortical activity. 

I completed my BSc in Biomedical Sciences (with honours) at Utrecht University in 2014. After this, I was selected for the Selective Utrecht Medical Master (SUMMA), a four-year medical school program with a strong scientific focus, leading up to a combined MD/MSc degree in 2019. Besides my studies I have been involved in various research projects, ranging from including patients for clinical research to the optimisation of an enzymatic assay. 
For my master’s thesis, I spent one year in Boston (2018), where I joined the lab of Professor David Corey at Harvard Medical School. The project focused on the applicability of the viral vector AAV9-PHP.B for gene therapy in the inner ear. I tested transduction efficiency of the vector in the cochlea of wildtype mice and then used the vector for rescue of hearing function in a mouse model for Usher Syndrome 3A. I presented our data at the Molecular Biology of Hearing and Deafness conference in Göttingen, Germany, in May 2018. 

The research project in Boston confirmed my aspiration to eventually combine clinical medicine and scientific research. After I obtained my MD/MSc, I worked over the summer as a junior clinician in Neurology in Utrecht and then started my DPhil here in Oxford. 

My DPhil is funded by the O’Sullivan Family Graduate Scholarship.