- Unit13 Jun 2013
Prof. Ray Guillery, Honorary Emeritus Research Fellow in the Unit, published a biographical and science history article about his great granduncle Otto Friedrich Karl Deiters (1834-1863), on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of his death. Deiters first described that neurons have several dendrites and one axon, something not all students are aware today. He also understood that neurons are polarised and first demonstrated inputs to the dendrites.
- External10 Jun 2013
This summer the Unit's wild flower meadow surrounding our entrance and carpark is flourishing. The prominent red campion's pink flowers are easy to spot; some of the other species include: white campion, cuckoo flower, wood avens, bird's foot trefoil, ribwort plantain, wild strawberry, black mustard, yellow rattle, white dead-nettle, black medic, teasel, cowslip and columbine. We have a Common Spotted Orchid flower spike growing, and hopefully this will open in the next few weeks. The meadow, although small, has a range of different conditions; from the full sun of the left-hand side, to the dark corner above the bike sheds; which will help it support a good range of species. The yellow rattle is a parasite of grasses, and so helps keep the grass from becoming too large or successful and out-competeing the flowering dicot species.
Wildflower meadows have declined by 97% since the 1930s. Last week, the Prince of Wales publically supported a project by Plantlife, the Wildlife Trusts and Rare Breeds Survival Trust on the 60th Anniversary of the Coronation. The project aims to create "Coronation Meadows", as well as a comprehensive inventory of the nations remaining meadows. One meadow will be announced in each county by the end of the year. The first 60 were announced last week to mark the 60 years since the Coronation, but the target is 107. News item at BBC. Telegraph article.
- Unit7 Jun 2013
The Dupret MRC group and Csicsvari IST group met for a joint Lab retreat in Hungary. Members of each lab presented their ongoing work and discussed future directions with a particular emphasis on sleep reactivation of waking hippocampal activity patterns. A productive meeting was had by all.Related Group :
- External4 Jun 2013
For the 6th year running, the Unit is displaying a live camera feed from its nest box on a monitor in reception. The nest box is located outside Prof. Somogyi's office window. This year Blue Tits chose the box, and they laid eleven eggs. However, due to the cold, wet spring they took a break in the middle of laying, which has led to two of the eggs not hatching. There are currently eight surviving chicks.
There is another bird box in a silver birch tree in the car park at the front of the Unit. This year, as last year, this box was taken by Great Tits. There are currently five large chicks in the nest
2008 and 2009 Blue tits in window box
2010 and 2011 Great tits in window box
2012 and 2013- Blue tits in window box, Great tits in car park box
- Unit3 Jun 2013
Dr Michael Spedding, Scientific Director at Les Laboratoires Servier and Director Spedding Research Solutions is visiting the Unit and is hosted by Peter Somogyi from 3rd to 8th June. He will give the Department’s Lecture on Tuesday 4th June 2013 at 12:00.
“Evolution and revolution in psychiatric disorders”.
Servier’s Group is a global pharmaceutical company with active programs in psychiatry areas. Coordination of Servier drug discovery research, plus directly PhDs and postdocs in universities and several specific projects. From 2011-2013 he found innovative science and products throughout the world for Servier research and development. Defined key technology breakthroughs; organized ANMI conferences, performed key “enabling” experiments on new drugs/disease areas.
He was elected to French Academy of Pharmacy in 2001 and elected as Fellow of British Pharmacological Society in 2005.
- Unit30 May 2013
Joseph (Joe) Larvin has returned to the Unit and the group of Pete Magill to pursue his studies on the molecular architecture of globus pallidus neurons. Joe already completed a highly successful Final Honours School research project in the Unit earlier this year, as part of his BMBCH medical degree at the University of Oxford.
- Unit30 May 2013
We are pleased to welcome Eszter Kormann to the Unit. Eszter has joined Professor Peter Somogyi’s lab on a short term appointment as a Research Technician. She graduated from Eötvös Loránd University with a Psychology BA in 2013.
She has gained teaching experience and has worked as an assistant lecturer and research assistant at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience & Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Her projects involved psychophysiological tests on human subject, EEG and ECG analyses.
From October she will commence her M.Sc course in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford.Related Group :
- Unit27 May 2013
Shaady Garas has joined the group of Pete Magill to complete a summer research project as part of his B.Sc.(hons) in Health Sciences at McMaster University, Canada. As part of his research experience, Shaady will use light microscopy and immunohistochemistry to define the molecular architecture of distinct types of globus pallidus neuron.
- External21 May 2013
David Smith, Honorary Associate Director of the Unit and Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology at the University of Oxford and his team has shown that large doses of three B vitamins (folic acid, vitamins B12 and B6) specifically slow the shrinkage of the brain areas vulnerable to dementia by as much as 90 per cent. David says: “Our work shows that a key part of the process that leads to Alzheimer’s disease might be modified by a safe and simple intervention.” His previous studies in the same trial showed that these doses of B vitamins can slow mental decline in the elderly who suffer from mild memory problems. Now the latest analysis of a 2010 clinical trial, part-funded by the MRC, has found that high doses of these vitamins particularly B12 can help to protect the parts of the brain affected by Alzheimer’s disease. David says that this is the first time that a treatment has been shown to modify the disease process and so it holds out the hope that other causes of brain atrophy, such as hypertension and diabetes, both of which are linked to Alzheimer's disease, can be modified to help prevent Alzheimer's disease.
- Unit21 May 2013
Neuropeptide signalling in health and disease.
Professor Tomas Hökfelt, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, (http://ki.se/ki/jsp/polopoly.jsp?d=25981&a=55039&l=en) delivered the 8th David Smith Lecture on the 21st May 2013, followed by dinner at Lady Margaret Hall.
Professor Hökfelt is one the fathers of the field of neuropeptide research. His research focuses on the localization and function of neuropeptides in the healthy and diseased brain. He talked about three of the neuropeptide systems he had worked on, how neuropeptides or neuropeptide receptors could be novel therapeutic targets in the treatment of pain, insomnia and anxiety/depression, but how early hopes had not come to fruition. He finished on a note of optimism for future research on neuropeptides and new therapeutic targets.
The Lecture each year celebrates the vision of the previous Chair of Pharmacology and founding Director of the Unit, Prof. A. David Smith, currently Honorary Associate Director and Emeritus Professor, and the successful conclusion of the last quinquennial scientific review of the Unit.
To commemorate the lecture Prof. Hökfelt received a laser-engraved cherry-wood plaque, designed by Unit Artist, Ben Micklem, illustrating aspects of Anatomical Neuropharmacology at Oxford from molecules to the brain.