February 2017


We heard the fantastic news late last year that Matt was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant!  This is an amazing opportunity for us to push forward our work, and will allow us to do a whole heap of experiments that just wouldn’t be possible with other types of funding.  We’ll use it to focus on adult-generated neurons in the olfactory bulb, and how their elevated potential for plasticity might contribute to information processing in sensory circuits.  In practical terms that means lots of slice physiology, as always, but we’ll also now have the ability to monitor and control neuronal activity in vivo too, and that’s incredibly exciting.  It’s a 5-year award starting later this year, so let’s hope the UK Government sticks to its promise to underwrite all European funding obtained while we’re still part of the EU… If you’d like to know more, you can find more detail on the award from the KCL IoPPN newsletter, and also in the ERC’s own press release.

We’ve also taken some of our own advice recently, and have published a preprint of our latest paper on BioArxiv.  This one is a nice short paper revealing a necessary role for the motor protein myosin II in activity-dependent structural plasticity at the AIS.  It’s currently under review at a ‘standard’ peer-reviewed journal, but you can see the submitted manuscript here, and we’ll update that as and when it’s finally published.  We’ve also deposited all of the primary data at Figshare, but those will only become publicly available once the final version of the paper has been accepted.  We’ll try and do this for all of our work from now on – here’s hoping we reap the benefits of Open Science!

Some great recent news from our alumni: Adna got herself an EU IntraEuropean Fellowship to start her post-doc with Claire Wyart at the Brain and Spine Institute in Paris.  And Annisa just landed a new post-doc working with Frank Heppner at the Charite in Berlin.

Finally, we welcome 3 new project students to the lab this term!  Monika’s doing her 2nd MRes rotation project with us, looking at plasticity in adult-born dopaminergic neurons.  And Asha and Grace have both started BSc projects, Asha on morphological plasticity in external tufted cells, and Grace on plastic epigenetic changes in the olfactory bulb.  Welcome guys!

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