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Professor Irene Tracey nominated as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford

Professor of Anaesthetic Neuroscience Irene Tracey, former head of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences, has been nominated as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

How to use the science of the body clock to improve our sleep and health

Public Engagement Research Highlights

Professor Russell Foster has written a new book about circadian neuroscience which is published by Penguin this week. This book review by Jacqueline Pumphrey was first published on the University of Oxford website.

NICE recommends offering app-based treatment for people with insomnia instead of sleeping pills

Research Highlights Strategic Developments

Hundreds of thousands of people suffering from insomnia who would usually be prescribed sleeping pills could be offered an app-based treatment programme instead, NICE has said.

New Study Shows Simvastatin Can Change the Way People Experience Certain Emotions

Research Highlights

This new study examines the effects of simvastatin on emotional processing, reward learning, verbal memory, and inflammation.

Developmental dynamics of the neural crest–mesenchymal axis in creating the thymic microenvironment

Research Highlights Strategic Developments

A new paper from researchers at the Department of Paediatrics and the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences has shown that fibroblasts in the thymus, often considered simply as dull “structural” cells, are much more complex than previously thought.

Cathy Creswell Elected Fellow of Academy of Medical Sciences

Awards and Honours

Cathy Creswell, Professor of Developmental Clinical Psychology, Departments of Psychiatry and Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.

Oxford researchers part of major UK initiative to understand chronic pain

Research Highlights

Oxford pain researchers are playing a major role in a new multi-million pound research programme launched by a consortium of funders, including UKRI, Versus Arthritis, Eli Lilly and the Medical Research Foundation.

Unique study of vascular disease reaches 20th anniversary

Research Highlights Strategic Developments

The only project of its kind anywhere that studies patients with all types of acute vascular events - including strokes, heart attacks, aneurysms - in order to develop better diagnostic tests and treatments celebrates its 20th anniversary this month.

OPDC researchers welcome Parkinson’s UK and the Oxford Branch committee

Events

Researchers from the Oxford Parkinson’s Disease Centre (OPDC) recently hosted Caroline Rassell, Parkinson’s UK Chief Executive; David Dexter, Associate Research Director; Trustee Board members, Gary Shaughnessy (Chair) and Sally Bromley; together with members of the Parkinson’s UK Oxford Branch committee, for a visit to showcase the research being carried out in Oxford.

DPAG launches “Body, Brain, Behavior: Three Views and a Conversation” in Oxford

Events Research Highlights

The Oxford Book Launch 'Body Brain Behavior - The Need For Conversations' brought together three world leading scientist authors, Professor Zoltán Molnár and Yale Professors Tamas Horvath and Joy Hirsch, with Oxford's neuroscience community on Thursday 7 April 2022.

Little understood brain region linked to how we perceive pain

Research Highlights

A new review paper, published in the journal Brain, has shown that a poorly understood region of the brain called the claustrum may play an important role in how we experience pain.

New funding awarded to study persistent pain in inflammatory arthritis

Major Funding Awards Strategic Developments

The £3.9M Wellcome Collaborative Award will be used to identify the drivers of pain in people living with rheumatoid arthritis.

Armin Lak set to reveal neural code for learning under uncertainty with ERC Starting Grant

Research Highlights

Congratulations are in order for Sir Henry Dale Fellow Dr Armin Lak who has been awarded a Starting Grant from the European Research Council. His funded project will investigate the neural circuits for learning under perceptual uncertainty.

New insights into the role of dopamine in reinforcement learning

A new study from Dr Yanfeng Zhang has uncovered the first evidence that dopamine-dependent long-term potentiation is also gated by the pause of striatal cholinergic interneurons and the depolarisation of the striatal spiny projection neurons. This discovery overturns previous ideas that the phasic dopamine release is the only factor gate corticostriatal synaptic plasticity, thus changing our understanding of dopamine functions in reinforcement learning.

Massive Publicity for Study of Effects of Mild COVID on Smell

Research Highlights Strategic Developments

Researchers from the University of Oxford have used data from UK Biobank participants to look at changes to the brain on average 4.5 months after mild SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Hearing Aid Use Linked to Slower Decline in Thinking Skills

Research Highlights

A new study, co-funded by Dementias Platform UK (DPUK), has found that hearing loss increased the risk of a precursor to dementia called mild cognitive impairment, but this increased risk is not present in people who wear hearing aids.

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