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Neuro Histology Technician, 1981 - 2012

SfN1997.jpgPatricia Cordery joined the Laboratory of Physiology as a Histology Technician with Dr George Gordon in 1981. She was responsible for the critical preparatory work of freeze sectioning, mounting tissue onto glass slides and staining the slides, so the position of an electrode tract or lesion could be found in a specific area of the brain. In 1983, she joined the group of Professor Colin Blakemore, switching her focus to the mammalian visual and auditory systems. She organised and supervised the research histology laboratory to provide facilities, advice and supervision of researchers and graduate students. According to Professor Zoltán Molnár: “There are so many of us who learned so much from her while we were graduate students at the Laboratory of Physiology.” Her skillset primarily involved producing tissue for routine, histochemical, immunocytochemical labelling and tracer fluorescence photomicrography, and analysis of resultant tissue by fluorescence and brightfield microscopy, quantitative interactive microscopy of immunocytotchemical and fluorescently labelled cells and pathways.  

Over the years, she was closely involved in the key projects run by several departmental research groups, producing photographs and histograms for analysis and publication. Notable project areas included “Connections between Cerebral Cortex and the Pallium in embryonic mammals and reptiles” with Professor Zoltán Molnár and Professor Colin Blakemore, “The Auditory cortex and the cholinergic pathway its plasticity and innervation” with Professor Andrew King and Dr Victoria Bajo-Lorenza, and “The Extra striate Visual Area V5/MT Clustered connections in Rhesus Macaque” with Associate Professor Kristine Krug and Dr Bashir Ahmed. The diverse research areas she worked across also expanded to mapping the mammalian visual cortex, a mouse model of Huntingdon’s Disease and the production of a drug loaded slow-release polymer. She co-authored 13 peer-reviewed publications between 1995 and her retirement in 2012.  

Her career highlights include her first scientific publication “Postnatal changes in the uncrossed retinal projection of pigmented and albino Syrian hamster and the effects of monocular enucleation” (Journal of Comparative Neurology, volume 357) and attending her first international scientific meetings in 1997 - the New Orleans Comparative Physiology and Anatomy meeting, followed by the Society for Neurosciences meeting, with Professor Zoltán Molnár.