SLMS Academic Careers Office
- Clinical Academic Training
- Biomedical Academic Training
- Grand Challenges
- 1. Bayesian Modelling of Disease Progression In juvenile dermatomyositis (JDM)
- 2. Mind-body interactions influencing the outcome of treatment for epilepsy
- 3. Treating retinal inflammation: bridging the divide between common problems in the eye and the brain
- 4. Development of a Novel In Vivo Animal Model for Schizophrenia Drug Testing
- 5. Immune mechanisms in Developmental Programming of Non-Alchoholic Fatty Liver Disease
- 10. Molecular Control of Pain Processing
- 11. Understanding the mechanisms of insulin secretion in patients with HADH mutations
- 12. Origins of cortico-subthalamic “hyperdirect” pathway in the motor cortex: electrophysiology and imaging
- 13. The mechanical control of tissue regeneration.
- 14. Investigating community severance in Southend and its effects on health and access to healthcare
- 15. Ageing of the liver and protection from injury: from flies to mice to humans
- 16. Intelligent nanomaterials against antibiotic resistant bacteria
- 17. Retroviral restriction factors that control species-specific gene regulation and stem cell fate
- 18. Improving women’s choice and uptake of effective contraceptive methods through development of interactive digital interventions
- 19. From embryonic cell to neuron: understanding the complexity of developmental decisions
- 20. Identification of mitochondrial biomarkers and therapeutic targets in pancreatic cancer
- 23. Television subtitling for deaf and hearing-impaired viewers: a route to improve English language skills for UK migrants with normal hearing
- 24. Large-scale phylogenomic mapping of domain architecture changes to elucidate gene function evolution
- 26. Real-time and nanometre-scale visualisation of membrane perforation in pathogen attack and immune response
- 29. Human amniotic fluid-derived induced pluripotent stem cells for the treatment of osteogenesis imperfecta.
- 31. Understanding the immunopathogenesis of juvenile-onset SLE: could targeting lipid biosynthesis control disease progression and reduce cardiovascular risk?
- What Students Say
- Current Student Projects
- Project Call 2014
- Phd Programmes
- ACO Features
Supervisor Pair: Dr Alexander Kraskov and Professor Daniel Alexander Potential Student’s Home Department: Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL Institute of Neurology
The cortico-subthalamic “hyperdirect” pathway is a direct and fast white matter tract connecting frontal cortex and subthalamic nucleus (STN) in the basal ganglia. It has been hypothesised to play an important role in normal action inhibition behaviour and in Parkinson’s Disease (PD) pathology. Based on rodent studies, it also has been suggested that the therapeutic action of deep brain stimulation (DBS) of STN, a hugely successful treatment to ameliorate motor symptoms of PD, may be partially due to the antidromic activation of the cortical neurons projecting to the STN via the hyperdirect pathway. But in primates (including humans) we know very little about exact location of these neurons and their functional role in behaviour.
In this project, we will employ and enhance the latest diffusion magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocols in a non-human primate model to acquire necessary data for white matter fibre tracking using tractography. Standard tractography techniques such as diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) are insufficient to reconstruct the hyperdirect pathway, because it is right at the limits of the imaging resolution and is eclipsed by adjacent larger pathways. However, cutting edge techniques such as NODDI (neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging) combined with high-field imaging allows us to isolate smaller pathways like this. We will validate tractography findings by recording in the same animals physiologically identified cortical neurons projecting to the STN via hyperdirect pathways and in addition corticospinal neurons projecting to the spinal cord via pyramidal tract. In rodents these populations heavily overlap but this is unlikely in primates but has never been tested before.
This project will allow a Grand Challenge Student to combine state-of-the-art experimental and analysis techniques for investigation of an important physiological question which might lead to better understanding of action inhibition behaviour and, potentially, the pathology of PD