Oriol Pavon Arocas

PhD Student, Wellcome Neuroscience UCL

Oriol is an alumnus from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where he obtained a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, and from the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where he completed an MSc in Neurosciences. He conducted his MSc Thesis in the group of Prof. Gero Miesenböck at the Centre for Neural Circuits and Behaviour in Oxford, investigating circuits underlying sleep regulation in Drosophila.

In 2016 he moved to London to join the Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD in Neuroscience at UCL and completed a first year of rotations. He studied astrocyte glutamate-uptake currents using patch-clamp recordings in acute hippocampal slices in Prof. David Attwell’s group, investigated the connectivity of inhibitory neurons in a midbrain circuit computing innate defensive behaviours in Dr. Tiago Branco’s group, and explored the brain areas involved in homeostatic sleep regulation in zebrafish in Dr. Jason Rihel’s group. 

For his PhD project in the Branco group, he is combining whole-cell patch-clamp recordings and single-cell RNA sequencing to (1) investigate the contribution of midbrain Periaqueductal Gray inhibitory neurons to the computation and selection of defensive behaviours to innately threatening stimuli, and (2) identify molecular signatures of specific biophysical properties that are critical for the computation of such behaviours.

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