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Civil society participation and sexual health policy in Brazil: A critical ethnography of policy-making processes in Pernambuco.
I will use ethnographic research methods and analytical methods from anthropology, policy analysis, organisational behaviour and critical theory to document and examine civil society participation in policy-making in the North Eastern state of Pernambuco, Brazil. I will take a comparative approach, looking at how policy is made (and un-made) within the Conselhos de Saude (councils for structured … more
Exploring the Group Mind with Mass Participation Experiments.
Our goal is to provoke and engage the audience with a simple, compelling question: What is more fundamental to being human: the I of an individual person, or the we of a group, family or society? Scientifically, there are two ways to understand human behaviour. On the one hand, psychological models focus on the individuals thoughts and beliefs. On the other hand, sociological and biological model… more
Charting social change: cataloguing and preservation of the Centre for Longitutudinal Studies Archive.
The main objective of this project is to sort, preserve and catalogue the administrative archive of the national birth cohort studies, held at the Centre for Longitudinal Studies (CLS), to international standards and make it available to researchers. It will employ a professional archivist for 18 months to undertake the following activities: -Removal, sorting and repackaging of archive material f… more
UCL Wellcome Trust PhD Programmes for Clinicians
Medicine Corner extension.
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Background: More than half of Mumbai's people live in vibrant localities described by the loaded word slum. A previous Wellcome Trust Award supported Dekha Undekha (Seen and Unseen), a project in which mentor artists and local participants worked together to create a multimedia installation. Held in Dharavi, the city's most well-known informal settlement,… more
Public Engagement Provision.
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>This research will ask how structural inequalities operate symbolically and through everyday activities to put indigenous people more at risk of harm and explore how this can be addressed through interventions. To address this I will conduct an in-depth study of maternal health in Mexican indigenous communities from the conceptual positi… more
Development of TIPS microspheres for the treatment of fistulas
Perianal fistulas are abnormal channels formed between the anal canal and the skin surface. Existing treatments to close these channels typically involve medical and surgical approaches, however both have limitations. Medical agents are usually delivered systematically, but this may predispose the patient to severe infection and autoimmune reactions. Surgery using existing anal fistula plugs is … more
Defining the role of NRP1-ABL1 signalling in adult neovascular eye disease
We wish to address if ECM-induced NRP1-ABL1 signalling promotes adult angiogenesis and is a suitable target in anti-angiogenic therapies. In both PDR and wet AMD, VEGF is upregulated and stimulates angiogenesis to counter tissue hypoxia caused by vascular damage. Whereas neovascular lesions in PDR affect intraretinal vessels and resemble those in retinopathy of prematurity, wet AMD is instead cau… more
Biomedical Vacation Scholarship.
London's anti-vivisection hospitals 1896-1935.
London's anti-vivisection hospitals were created to cater for the needs of patients who disapproved of vivisection and vivisectionists. Whether animal experimentation was a productive mode of scientific enquiry was held to be secondary to its moral perils: those who vivisected showed themselves too hard-hearted to be good doctors. Thus patients who attended an anti-vivisection hospital might rece… more
Development of diencephalic asymmetries in zebrafish and chick embryos.
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>While most of the body is symmetrical with respect to the midline, a few functions, including higher order behaviours and cognitive functions in the brain, have evolved to be concentrated on one (left or right) side. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying left/right asymmetry of body organs are now fairly well understood, we still know li… more
The role of c-Jun in controlling the repair-supportive phenotype of Schwann cells in injured nerves.
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Work in the Jessen and Mirsky laboratory, using a mouse in which the transcription factor c-Jun has been inactivated in Schwann cells only (c-Jun-cKO mouse), shows that the Schwann cell response to nerve injury depends on activation of the transcription factor c-Jun in Schwann cells, and that this protein specifies the phenotype of the Bunger r… more
Morphogenesis underlying choroid fissure fusion.
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Coloboma is a defect in the morphogenesis of the eye that results from failureof choroid fissure closure. It is among the most common congenital defects in humans and can significantly impact vision. However, very little is known about the developmental mechanisms regulating choroid fissure fusion. Therefore, I aim to resolve the cellular and m… more
PDGF as a cell autonomous regulator of Epithelial-to-Mesenchymal-Transition (EMT) in neural crest cells.
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>A defining characteristic of neural crest (NC) cells is the epithelial-to?mesenchymal transition (EMT) they undergo to segregate from the neural tube to start migration. EMT is a cellular process converting non-motile epithelial cells to motile mesenchymal cells, showing strikingly common characteristics in metastatic cancer cells and NC c… more
Probing the inhibitory neurosteroid binding site on the GABAA receptor
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Neurosteroids are naturally occurring potent modulators of type A GABA receptors in the brain. Although there are many neurosteroid metabolites, these can be characterised into two distinct classes - those that potentiate GABAA receptor function and those that inhibit. Previously we deduced where potentiating neurosteroids bind on the GABAA receptor, bu… more
Single neuron connectomics and functional mapping in visual cortex
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Understanding how cortical connectivity organizes cortical computations is a long-standing challenge in neuroscience. I propose to investigate the relationbetween circuit connectivity and circuit function in the primary visual cortex(V1). To this end, I will deploy a novel monosynaptic retrograde tracing strategy based on rabies virus to identify and… more
Development, plasticity, energy supply and pathology of myelinated axons
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>The white matter of the CNS allows rapid transmission of information at low energetic cost. Despite its importance for brain function, the development, plasticity, energetics and pathology of the white matter are poorly understood. We will investigate, in vitro in brain slices and in vivo in zebrafish: (1) how electrical activity in olig… more
Mechanisms of grid cell processing: interactions at the network level
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>The primary goal of this project is to establish the role of cholinergic signalling in the modulation of grid cell firing patterns. In particular, to study the relationship between Acetylcholine concentration in the Entorhinal Cortex and grid scale. Acetylcholine is a putative signal of novelty and uncertainty, and has been shown to affect the theta-… more
Glial regulation of neural signalling in health and disease with an emphasis on understanding its possible role in psychotic-like states
<table> <tbody> <tr> <td>Astrocytes respond to neurotransmitters released from neurons with a rise of [Ca2+]i. It is becoming increasingly clear that these [Ca2+]i rises can in turn evoke neurotransmitter release from astrocytes, which modulates neuronal function, and that microglial cells can regulate this signalling from astrocytes. We will use patch-clamping, c… more
PhD studentship costs
Chronic pain is prevalent and its clinical treatment remains limited. The London Pain Consortium (LPC) will advance knowledge of chronic pain mechanisms through internationally competitive research and provide multidisciplinary training of clinical and biomedical scientists to promote careers in neurobiology in general and pain studies in particular. In man and animals, we will: 1) identify molec… more