UCL Institute of Ophthalmology



Student profiles

Soraya Dunn (2014)

I have a BSc in Physics from Imperial College London and an MSc in Neuroscience from UCL. I am jointly supervised by Dr Jenny Bizley at the Ear Institute and Dr Dan Bendor at the Institute of Behavioural Neuroscience.

My research is focused on the hippocampus- a region of the brain with important roles in both spatial navigation and encoding recent episodic memories. I will be looking at the activity of hippocampal neurons in response to auditory and visual cues to investigate higher-order sensory processing. There is a vast body of work investigating the hippocampus in rodents. One main aim of my project is to examine aspects of the rodent-based hippocampal model, specifically in relation to sensory inputs, and see whether they can be generalised across species.

Camille Tardieu (2014)

After two years of Biology in France, I moved to the UK to study Neuroscience at King's College London. Last year, I had the opportunity to join a very exciting (and successful) lab project in Neurodegeneration at the Institute of Psychiatry in a Drosophila lab. From there on, I decided to stick to the fly world. Having always been fascinated by sensory transduction, a PhD in the field was only logical. Being sponsored by Action on Hearing Loss, my PhD has a specific focus on establishing a Drosophila model of noise-induced hearing loss.  In my spare time, I enjoy playing and composing music. And, in order to confirm the French myth, I do have a very pronounced passion for cooking too.

Davaapil Hongorzul (2014)

I obtained my BSc in Biochemistry from UCL. I am currently doing my PhD at the Institute of Ophthalmology under the supervision of Prof. Shin-ichi Ohnuma. The focus of my research is the effect of a family of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins on the initiation and progression of brain and eye diseases. I have a particular interest in abnormalities in the vasculature and the effect of these ECM proteins on tight junction formation and maintenance between adjacent endothelial cells. I aim to demonstrate that these vascular perturbations can lead to cancer and possibly Alzheimer’s Disease using a mouse model. I am funded by the MRC Doctoral Training Account program.

Tobias Weinrich Weinrich (2014)

I have a BSc in Biology and Biochemistry from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (Spain) and an MSc in Immunology from Imperial College London. My research is focused on the role of mitochondria – the powerhouse of the energy-producing systems of the cells – in photoreceptors, specialised cells in the eye retina able to capture light and transmit the information to the brain. One of the aims of my project is to explore the contribution of ageing and inflammation to mitochondrial function in the retina since ageing is one of the main health challenges in western society. I am jointly supervised by Prof. Glen Jeffery, at the Institute of Ophthalmology, and Prof. Kenneth Smith at the Institute of Neurology.

Camilla Pilloti (2014)

I graduated in Biology at the University of Parma in Italy and have done a Master in Biomedical Sciences at UCL. I am part of the IMPACT and SenSyT PhD programs at UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, under the supervision of Prof. Stephen Moss. For my PhD project, we are trying to understand the role of Complement Factor B and angiogenesis to treat age-related macular degeneration.​ My studentship is co-funded by GlaxoSmithKline.