I am neuroscientist interested in brain plasticity, myelin and the bigger picture. My current work focuses on the role of myelin plasticity in learning and behaviour change.
Myelin sheaths in the vertebrate nervous system enable faster impulse propagation, while myelinating glial cells provide vital support to axons. Once considered a static insulator, converging evidence now suggests that myelin in the central nervous system can be dynamically regulated by neuronal activity and continues to participate in nervous system plasticity beyond development. While the link between experience and myelination gains increased recognition, it is still unclear what role such adaptive myelination plays in facilitating and shaping behaviour. I am using transgenic model systems of learning in combination with MRI and histology to investigate the underlying cellular mechanisms of white-matter structural plasticity and their potential role in learning.
I am also interested in seeing the aesthetic value of the images and data take for my research (examples below), as communicating the beauty and art in the scientific view can built many bridges. Given the brains centrality to our lives, to who we are and to what shapes our reality, it is surprising how little our society talks about it. Hence, I am also interested in using science communication to take a step back and evaluate the bigger picture from time to time.
Myelinating Co-cultures with iPSC-derived sensory neurons
Kaller MS. et al, (2017), Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 47, 86 - 92
Clark AJ. et al, (2017), Brain, 140, 898 - 913