Postdoctoral research associate
I am fascinated with neural networks that carry out memory related computations in the brain. Related processes like learning, retrieval, and even forgetting of information are pivotal across species and related disorders devastate lives of the affected and their families. Still the biology of relevant networks is vaguely understood.
Thus, I am excited to be able to study underlying circuits in Scott Waddell’s lab at the University of Oxford. Here we use Drosophila as a model to unravel the biology of neural networks within and outwith the mushroom body, which is a principle site for memory computation in flies. My project consists of a bipartite approach:
In a first step, I analyse the connectivity and network anatomy of relevant neuronal circuits on the electron microscopic level. Therefore, I collaborate with the Drosophila Connectomics group at Cambridge University. Here, as part of a large Wellcome Trust funded project with members in the UK and the US, we work on an EM-level 3D Volume reconstruction of a complete Drosophila brain to identify neurons and their connections in relevant circuits. These findings can be taken to a second step, in which I investigate how the physical layout of connections and circuits is linked to memory computation and functional implications in related behaviours of living animals. A particular focus is thereby on the context dependent functional heterogeneity of the dopaminergic reinforcement network and the upstream circuitry.