Research Projects

May 2020 – Present

“Investigating the impact of dynein dysfunction on microglial morphology, activation state, motility, and migration”.

The project involves culturing primary and immortalised cells, pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory activation of glia in vitro, migration assays, adenoviral infection of cells, Cre-Lox recombination, biochemical assays, immunocytochemistry, phase-contrast and confocal microscopy, live cell imaging, morphometric analysis, data analysis and statistical analysis.

Under the supervision of Prof Majid Hafezparast at the University of Sussex.

May 2020 – June 2020 (2 months)

“An exploratory analysis of the transcriptomic profile and alternative splicing of a TDP-43 mutant”.

The project was bioinformatics-based, using RNA sequencing data, and mainly involved using existing programming tools, as well as writing new code for data filtering and alignment to the genome, differential gene expression analysis, functional enrichment analysis, splice variant quantification, and differential exon usage detection.

Under the supervision of Prof Majid Hafezparast at the University of Sussex.

Aug 2019 – Present

“Investigating the role of microRNAs released from microglia in the pathology of motor neuron disease”.

The project involves primary mixed glia and spinal motor neuron cultures, in vitro purification and pro-inflammatory activation of microglia, ELISA, cell transfection/magnetofection, immunocytochemistry, confocal microscopy, RNA extraction and quantification, RT-qPCR, genotyping, data analysis and statistical analysis.

Under the supervision of Prof Majid Hafezparast at the University of Sussex.

Apr 2019 – Jul 2019 (3 months)

“Imaging spontaneous calcium activity in the white matter.” - University of Sussex

The project involved performing a cranial window surgery and implanting a cannula in the brain, 2-photon imaging of calcium activity in vivo, perfusion-fixation and brain slicing, immunohistochemistry and confocal microscopy, data analysis, image analysis and statistical analysis.

Under the supervision of Dr Catherine Hall at the University of Sussex.

Jan 2019 – Mar 2019 (3 months)

“Potential of inflammatory microglia as a source of extracellular microRNAs in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.”

The project involved primary mouse hippocampal and mixed glial cultures, in vitro purification and pro-inflammatory activation of microglia, ELISA, immunocytochemistry, confocal microscopy, RNA extraction and quantification, RT-qPCR, microarray analysis, genotyping, transfection of neurons in vitro, data and statistical analysis.

Under the supervision of Prof Majid Hafezparast at the University of Sussex.

Sep 2018 – Dec 2018 (3 months)

“Investigating the effects of a synaptically-enriched glutamate reporter on basal AMPAR-mediated synaptic transmission”

The project involved dissection of neonatal rat brains, primary cultures of hippocampal neurons, viral infection of cultured cells, fluorescence detection, measuring spontaneous miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) using whole-cell patch-clamp electrophysiology, and data analysis using MATLAB.

Under the supervision of Dr Andy Penn at the University of Sussex.

Jan 2018 – Apr 2018 (4 months)

“Investigating the effects of intravenous catecholamines on heart rate and blood pressure under inhalational anaesthesia”

The project involved inducing and maintaining general inhalational anaesthesia, performing tracheostomy, arterial and venous cannulation, intravenous injections, exposure and electrical stimulation of the cervical vagus nerve, and data analysis.

Under the supervision of Dr Simon Kennedy at the University of Glasgow.

Sep 2017 – Dec 2017 (4 months)

“Investigating the therapeutic potential of angiotensin-(1-7) in a hypertensive rat model of stroke.”

The project involved testing a potential treatment for stroke in rats using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and histology. Specifically, I analysed MRI images of rat brains that had suffered a stroke and were treated with the peptide angiotensin-(1-7), to establish its therapeutic potential based on the volume of brain damage seen on MRI images and the extend of cell death seen in histological specimens. This project largely involved data manipulation and mathematical computations, such as measuring areas of infarcted brain tissue using pixel-based calculations, or quantifying vasogenic brain oedema that leads to cerebral herniation and death using morphometric assessment.

Under the supervision of Dr Emma Reid at the University of Glasgow.

In the lab doing a histological experiment for the project.
In the lab doing a histological experiment for the project.

Sep 2016 – Aug 2017 (1 year)

“Investigating heart rate variability in schizophrenia patients, first-episode psychosis, and clinical-high-risk individuals.”

The project involved assessing basic symptoms in the psychosis spectrum in young adults, assessing sub-clinical psychopathology in clinical-high-risk people, conducting structured clinical interviews, participant recruitment and screening, and using magnetoencephalogram-derived data from schizophrenia and clinical-high-risk patients to examine their autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity. The project also involved decomposing physiological data into frequency components and quantifying their relative power, to obtain measures that are clinically used to index the general capacity of the ANS to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Furthermore, upon collecting data from cognitive tests, clinical interviews, and neuropsychological assessments of hundreds of clinical participants, I created a database for a longitudinal study to facilitate data analysis and statistical analysis.

Under the supervision of Prof Peter Uhlhaas at the University of Glasgow.