I completed a BSc in Neuroscience at the University of St Andrews. Whilst there I worked on a number of projects spanning molecular neuroscience, behaviour and motor control with Dr Gayle Doherty, Dr James Ainge and Professor Gareth Miles before moving to Oxford in 2016.
The mammalian cortex is characterised by specific patterns of synaptic connectivity which are thought to have enabled the development of complex brain processes. A fundamental question in neuroscience is how neurons establish such connections during brain development, thereby adopting unique functional identities within cortical networks.
A number of recent technical advances now make it possible to label specific populations of neurons in the brain, yielding exciting opportunities for the study of cortical development.
Following from the observation that excitatory cortical neurons are generated from a heterogeneous pool of progenitor cells, I am using a combination of in vivo and in vitro electrophysiology, alongside a number of lineage labelling techniques to investigate the extent to which the functional identity of neurons in adult cortical networks is constrained as a function of the progenitor population from which they derive.
Buchan MJ., (2018), Frontiers in psychology, 9
Buchan MJ. and Rowland JM., (2018), J neurosci, 38, 6609 - 6611
Ellender T. et al, (2018)