- Marco Tripodi
The main aim of my research is to understand how the brain encodes movements. Motor control has been the main theme of my career, I probably belong to the class of those that Daniel Wolpert would define as motor chauvinist – proudly so. I graduated in Italy for my BSc, I then moved to Cambridge for my MSc and PhD, where I was lucky to be accepted into the Wellcome Trust Four-year PhD programme. I graduated under the supervision of Michael Bate studying motor circuits assembly in Drosophila. After that I became an EMBO fellow in the lab of Silvia Arber in Switzerland. In those years I implemented viral strategies to visualise and manipulate motor circuits in vivo. In the autumn of 2013 I became junior group leader at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.
- Ernesto Ciabatti
I graduated in Chemistry at the University of Bologna with a thesis focused on the optimization of protein crystallization. I obtained my MSc in Molecular Biology from the University of Bologna with 1 year internship in Dr. Vania Broccoli’s lab at the San Raffaele Institute in Milan. There, I studied the molecular mechanism of Tbr2 transcription factor during cerebral cortex development, using a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches, using genetics, molecular and biochemical techniques. I joined the Tripodi lab in October 2013 for my PhD to investigate the circuits controlling goal-oriented movements in mice. To this aim I make use of viral tracing techniques and whole brain imaging. I also plan to study the activity of these networks in vivo during ongoing motor routines.
- Ana González Rueda
I have a BSc in Human Biology and an MSc in Biomedical Research from the University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. I first came to Cambridge for 6 months to carry out the research project for my MSc, which I did at the neuronal oscillations group (NOG) under the supervision of Professor Ole Paulsen at University of Cambridge. After obtaining a Michael Foster scholarship in physiology, I stayed in Professor Paulsen’s laboratory for 3 more years to complete a PhD. During my time in the NOG I studied the mechanisms of long-term depression in the mouse barrel cortex in vitro and in vivo using a combination of whole-cell patch clamp and optogenetics. I have recently joined the Tripodi lab and my aim is to study the sensory-to-motor transformation during goal-oriented behaviour at a single cell level using a combination of molecular tools, electrophysiology and imaging in vivo.
- Fabio Morgese
Biochemist by training, I graduated at the Federico II University in Naples with a thesis on a phenol oxidase from P.ostreatus. I then decided to pursue human genetics research at the Telethon Institute of Genetics and Medicine (TIGeM, Naples). There I worked on the Fanconi anemia as research fellow first and as a PhD student then. I achieved my PhD in molecular medicine at the University of Trieste, where my research was focused on the identification and characterization of novel interactors of Fanconi anemia proteins in order to find new insights on the disease. After my PhD, I moved to Toronto to work at the Arthur and Sonia Labatt Brain Tumor Research Centre (BTRC) at the Sickkids Hospital, intrigued by the connection between cell polarity, development and tumorigenesis. Having been exposed to brain tumor research for several years, I then joined the Tripodi lab as research support officer at the MRC-Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge.
- Jonathan Wilson
I obtained my BSc in Psychology and MSc in Neuroscience from University College London. Towards the end of my undergraduate training I became interested in the way in which the brain represents space; in particular I wanted to ask how three-dimensional space is represented. This led to me undertaking a PhD supervised by Kate Jeffery and Hugo Spiers (also at UCL) in which I used behavioural and in-vivo electrophysiological techniques to determine how the brain represents spatial orientation within three-dimensional environments. I joined the Tripodi lab in September 2015 as a postdoctoral researcher, where I will use a combination of behavioural, optical and electrophysiological techniques to investigate the neural mechanisms that control goal-oriented movements in mice
- Laura Masullo
I graduated from the University of Manchester with an MSci degree in Neuroscience. As part of my master’s research project, I worked under the supervision of Prof. Richard Baines to investigate the impact of alternative splicing at voltage-gated sodium channels on the functional properties of Drosophila motoneurons; to this aim, I employed a combination of behavioural approaches and in vivo whole-cell patch clamp and calcium imaging techniques.
I joined the Tripodi lab at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in 2015 driven by my interest to tackle the question of motor control at the circuit level. Adopting viral tracing and electrophysiological techniques in combination with behavioural approaches, the aim of my PhD is to unveil the functional organisation of the superior colliculus and its role in the generation of goal-oriented movements.
- Nicolas Alexandre
I graduated from the Institut Supérieur de BioSciences in Paris in engineering. During my studies I learned programming and mathematical methods applied to biology. I worked with Marco Tripodi as a summer student in 2014 to develop a Virtual Reality platform for mice using Unity and Arduino. Then, I spent six months in the CEA-LIST Laboratoire de Simulation Intéractive at Gif-sur-Yvette in 2015 to improve my knowledge in virtual reality technologies by working with Kinect v2 for Windows and Oculus Rift.
I joined the Tripodi lab in February 2016 to continue my previous project on the virtual reality platform and develop a Graphic User Interface for data analysis for electrophysiology using Python.
- Letizia Mariotti
My interest in neuroscience blossomed during my MSc thesis project in the laboratory of Gian Michele Ratto, at the NEST in Pisa. Here I studied the role of chloride homeostasis for the function of inhibitory networks and disease such as epilepsy. This work stimulated my curiosity about the heterogeneity of interneurons and their interaction with other cell classes. Hence I joined the laboratory of Giorgio Carmignoto for my PhD at the University of Padova – CNR, to investigate the mechanisms and the function of the GABAergic signalling between genetically identified classes of interneurons and astrocytes in the neocortex. Here I mastered techniques to record and manipulate neuronal and astrocyte activity such as two-photon microscopy, optogenetics and patch clamp recordings.
I joined the Tripodi Lab to explore the neural circuits that lie at the interface between sensory perception and motor planning. To this aim I am using a combination of behavioural approaches, calcium imaging, molecular tools and electrophysiology.
- Hassal Lee
I am a MB PhD student at the University of Cambridge, School of Clinical Medicine. Following two years of study in undergraduate pre-clinical medicine, I completed my intercalated BA in Biochemistry in 2015. Under the supervision of Dr. Maria Olin, I carried out a six month project at the Markus Ralser Lab in the Sanger Building where I studied polyamine metabolism and its relevance to stress resistance and cell longevity in different fungal and mammalian cell types. Throughout my medical studies, I have been intrigued by the way in which neurodegenerative disorders exhibit an inexorable stereotyped clinical progression in patients – I thought that an opportunity to study the science behind this process at the Tripodi Lab would be an amazing experience. More specifically, I will be looking at the trans-synaptic spreading of Tau using a combination of molecular tools, cell culture and in vivo mouse models.