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Research groups

Tugrul Ozdemir

Postdoctoral Scientist in Systems Neurophysiology

Junior Research Fellow

Behavioural, physiological and transcriptomic changes in defined neurons during progressive memory decline


Research

I am an early-career postdoctoral neuroscientist in the group of Prof. Peter Somogyi at the Department of Pharmacology. My research seeks to identify neuronal mechanisms underlying the loss of the awareness of both time and space in neurodegenerative diseases. The cerebral cortex comprises many diverse types of nerve cells that work together in neural networks, or circuits, and their interactions enable us to create, store and recall memories. But how do these different types of neuron co-operate to serve cognitive behaviour? Combining in vivo single cell and multi-unit electrophysiology with novel single cell RNA sequencing methods, I aim to establish a systematic and comprehensive characterisation of the neuronal cell types both in healthy mice and in a neurodegenerative disease model.

 

Biography

I grew up in Ankara and studied molecular biology, genetics and psychology at Bilkent University and at University of California Davis. During my undergraduate studies, I volunteered at an autism training centre in Beijing, interned to study genes controlling retina development in fruit fly larvae at KU Leuven, explore translational regulation mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity at Stanford University and helped characterise in vivo recorded and labelled GABAergic medial septal cells at the University of Oxford. I carried out my Ph.D. in the group of Prof. Thomas Klausberger at the Medical University of Vienna, where I studied divergent cellular and network dynamics in the prefrontal cortex underlying working memory and cognitive flexibility. In 2019, I joined the group of Prof. Peter Somogyi as a postdoctoral scientist at the University of Oxford. My current research is co-supervised by Prof. Kenneth Harris at University College London, and funded by the European Research Council and Wellcome Trust.

 

Techniques

Single neuron extracellular recordings and juxtacellular labelling in behaving rodents; large-scale multiple single-unit recordings; behavioural testing; analysis of spike timing and network oscillations; immunohistochemistry; light and fluorescence microscopy; neuronal reconstructions; molecular biology tools; spatial transcriptomics; single cell RNA-sequencing