Education and Training

CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow
Royal Society Newton International Fellow
University of St Andrews, Fife, United Kingdom
Advisor: Prof. Gareth B. Miles (Lab Website)
PhD (Neuroscience)
University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Advisor: Dr. Patrick J. Whelan (Lab Website)
Thesis: ‘State-dependent neuromodulation of mammalian spinal networks
MSc (Kinesiology)
Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada
Advisor: Dr. Jayne M. Kalmar (Faculty Page)
Thesis: ‘Cortical mechanisms of unimanual control’
BSc (Kinesiology)
Minors: Biology, Chemistry
Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario, Canada


Eleftheriadis, P.E.*, Pothakos, K.*, Sharples, S.A., Apostolou, P., Mina, M., Tetrigga, E., Miles, G.B., and Zagoraiou, L. (2022). Peptidergic modulation of motor neuron output via CART signalling at C bouton synapses. BioRxiv. DOI: https://10.1101.2022.11.05.515234. (Research Article).

Sharples, S.A.*, Parker, J.*, Vargas, A.*, Milla-Cruz, J.J., Lognon, A.P., Cheng, N., Young, L., Shonak, A., Cymbalyuk, G. +, and Whelan, P.J +. (2022). Contributions of h- and Na+/K+ pump currents to the generation of episodic and continuous rhythmic activities. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 15: 715427. DOI: 10.3389/fncel.2021.715427. *, + Equal contribution. (Research Article).

Sharples, S.A. and Miles, G.B. (2021). Maturation of persistent and hyperpolarization-activated inward currents shapes the differential activation of motoneuron subtypes during postnatal development. eLife. 10: e71385. DOI: (Research Article).
Sharples, S.A., Burma, N.E., Borowska-Fielding, J., Kwok, C.H.T., Eaton, S.E.A, Baker, G., Jean-Xavier, C., Zhang, Y., Trang, T., and Whelan, P.J. (2020). A dynamic role for dopamine receptors in the regulation of mammalian spinal motor networks. Scientific Reports. 10(16429). (Research Article).

Whelan, P.J. and Sharples, S.A. (2020). Neural control of movement: Model systems and tools to study locomotor function. Elsevier Academic Press. EditorISBN: 9780128164778. (Textbook).
Sharples, S.A. and Whelan, P.J. (2020). A tale of many models. Which one creates the best of times? Invited book chapter in Neural control of movement: Model systems and tools to study locomotor function. pp. 419-426. (Textbook Chapter).
Sharples, S.A. and Whelan, P.J. (2020). An interphyletic tool kit to study locomotor function: past, present, and future directions. Invited book chapter in Neural control of movement: Model systems and tools to study locomotor function. Elsevier Academic Press. (Textbook Chapter).

Dalrymple, A.N., Sharples, S.A., Osachoff, N., Lognon, A.P., and Whelan, P.J. (2019). A supervised machine learning approach to characterize spinal network function. Journal of Neurophysiology. 121 (6): 2001-2012. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00763.2018.  (Research Article).

Sharples, S.A., and Whelan, P.J. (2018). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Marking the differences in motoneurons. eLife. 2018; 7: e36832. DOI: 10.7554/eLife.36832. (Commentary).
Jean-Xavier, C.*, Sharples, S.A.*, Mayr, K.A., Lognon, A.P., and Whelan, P.J. (2018). Retracing your footsteps: developmental insights into spinal network plasticity following injury. Journal of Neurophysiology. 119 (2): 521-536. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00575.2017. * Equal contribution. (Review).

Kim, L.*, Sharma, S.*, Sharples, S.A., Mayr, K.A., Kwok, C., and Whelan, P.J. (2017). Integration of descending command systems for the generation of context-specific locomotor behaviour.  Frontiers in Neuroscience. 11: 581. DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2017.00581. * Equal contribution. (Review).
Sharples, S.A. (2017). Dopamine pumping up spinal locomotor network function. Journal of Neuroscience. 37 (12): 3103-3105.  DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0019-17.2017. (Commentary).

Sharples, S.A. and Whelan, P.J.(2017). Modulation of rhythmic activity in mammalian spinal networks is dependent on excitability state. eNeuro. 4 (1): ENEURO 0368-16.2017. DOI:10.1523/ENEURO.0368-16.2017. (Research Article).

Mandadi, S., Leduc-Pessah, H., Hong, P., Ejdrygiewicz, J., Sharples, S.A., Trang, T., and Whelan, P.J. (2016). Modulatory and proliferative effects of kinins on the developing spinal cord. Journal of Physiology. 594 (4): 1017-1036. DOI: 10.1113/JP271152. (Research Article).
Sharples, S.A., Gould J.A., Vandenberk, M.S., and Kalmar, J.M. (2016). Cortical mechanisms of neuromuscular fatigue and sense of effort. Plos ONE. 11 (2): e0149026. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0149026. (Research Article).

Sharples, S.A., Humphreys, J.M., Jensen, A.M., Dhoopar, S., Delaloye, N., Clemens, S., and Whelan, P.J. (2015). Dopaminergic modulation of locomotor network activity in the neonatal mouse spinal cord. Journal of Neurophysiology. 113 (7): 2500-2510. DOI: 10.1152/jn.00849.2014. (Research Article).

Sharples, S.A., Almeida, Q.J., and Kalmar, J.M. (2014). Cortical mechanisms of mirror activation during maximal and submaximal finger contractions in Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.4, 437-452. DOI: 10.3233/JPD-130316. (Research Article).

Sharples, S.A., Koblinger K, Humphreys J.M. and Whelan P.J. (2014). Dopamine: a parallel pathway for the modulation of spinal locomotor networks. Frontiers in Neural Circuits 8 (55). DOI: 10.3389/fncir.2014.00055. (Review).

Sharples, S.A. and Kalmar, J.M. (2012). Modulation of cortical excitability and interhemispheric inhibition prior to rhythmic unimanual contractions. Journal of Neuroscience Methods.210 (2): 178-186. DOI: 10.1016/j.neumeth.2012.07.08. (Research Article).

Research Grants

RS MacDonald Charitable Trust Neurophotonics (Principal Investigator) – 2022-2023
University of St Andrews
Funds provided to adopt fluorescent sodium sensors to study intracellular sodium homeostasis in spinal motoneurons and determine roles for Alpha-3 subunit dysfunction in ALS.

Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (Principal Investigator) – 2020-2021
University of St Andrews
Competitive funding from the Wellcome Trust providing bridge funding to continue research studying spinal circuits for breathing control.

St Andrews Restarting Research Fund (Co-Investigator) – 2020-2021
Principle Investigator: Prof. Gareth Miles, University of St Andrews
Funds provided from the University of St Andrews to springboard return to research during the COVID-19 pandemic. Funds obtained were used to procure experimental reagents, pharmacological agents, consumable resources, and rederivation costs for a genetically-modified mouse line, to study the physiological role of a novel signaling peptide present at c-bouton synapses in the control of spinal motor circuits.

Scottish Dementia Research Consortium (Principal Investigator) – 2020-2021
Co-Investigator: Dr. Sarah Burley, University of St Andrews
‘Early Career Researcher COVID Relief Fund’
Funds provided from the SDRC to help ECRs whose work had been directly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown. Funds obtained were used to procure reagents and consumable resources to springboard in vitro experiments studying the contribution of sodium-potassium ATPase pumps to dysfunction in motoneurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells obtained from human patients with ALS.

Carnegie Research Incentive Grant (Principal Investigator) – 2022-2023
University of St Andrews
‘Deciphering spinal circuit components for the control of breathing’
This project aims to expand our tool kit to study spinal circuits for movement. I will adopt and establish novel in vitro and in vivo approaches to interrogate the function of spinal circuits that control breathing in mice. This will lead to the generation of key pilot data to further study the role of spinal interneurons in the control of breathing in health and disease.

Tenovus Scotland PhD Studentship (Co-Investigator) – 2020 – 2023
Principle Investigator: Prof. Gareth Miles, University St Andrews
‘Harnessing spinal circuits to facilitate respiratory recovery following spinal cord injury in mice’
The goal of this project is to interrogate the anatomical connectivity and functional roles of cervical V0c interneurons in breathing circuits. In collaboration with Michael Lane (Drexel University), this fundamental understanding will be applied to a mouse model of spinal cord injury (SCI) to reveal mechanisms of neuroplasticity that contribute to the therapeutic benefits of respiratory training and could be targeted to improve outcomes following SCI.
Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (Principal Investigator) – 2020 – 2021
University of St Andrews
Whole body plethysmography to interrogate spinal circuits for breathing in mice
Funding was obtained to procure a whole-body plethysmograph to record breathing in mice while manipulating the activity of spinal interneurons using genetic tools currently deployed in the Miles Lab. This will provide key insight into the functional role of spinal interneurons in the control of breathing.
Scottish Neurological Research Fund (Principal Investigator) – 2019 – 2020
Co-Investigators: Dr. Sarah Burley and Prof. Gareth Miles, University of St Andrews
‘Bridging the gap from rodent to humans to understand pre-symptomatic mechanisms of motoneuron dysfunction in ALS
The goal of this project is to determine the contribution of the sodium-potassium ATPase pump to changes in motoneuron excitability during pre-symptomatic stages of ALS. This project makes use of electrophysiological approaches in genetic mouse models and human motoneurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells from patients harbouring the C9orf72 mutation.


Royal Society Newton International Fellowship
NSERC – PDF (Declined)
Alberta Innovates Health Solutions
Achievers in Medical Science Graduate Recruitment
Dr. T. Chen Fong Doctoral Scholarship
Dean’s Scholarship


Bonvicini Graduate Scholarship in Neuroscience
SfN Trainee Professional Development Award
Arun Anbazhagan Award
J.B Hyne Research Innovation Award
Eyes High Learn from the Best Award
Arun Anbazhagan Award
Canadian Neuroscience Association Travel Award
Eyes High Raise Your Game Award
Graduate Entrance Scholarship
Dean’s List Scholarship

Academic Service

Editorial Board Member
Frontiers in Neural Circuits (Review Editor)2020-Present
Peer Review
Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, Journal of Physiology, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, Current Biology, Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, Brain Structure and Function, Journal of Neurophysiology, Frontiers in Neural Circuits, International Journal of Exercise Science


Guest Lectures
Tools and rodent models to study the dopaminergic control of locomotion
Ion channels of excitable membranes
Active conduction in neurons
Principles of central pattern generation
Intro to locomotor physiology
Dopaminergic control of locomotor circuits
Intro to motor systems neuroscience
Intro to electrophysiology
UBC Okanagan
University of St Andrews
University of St Andrews
Wilfrid Laurier University
Mount Royal University
Mount Royal University
Mount Royal University
University of Calgary
2016, 2017
Teaching Assistantships
KP221: Human Anatomy
KP425:Neuromuscular physiology of Exercise
KP122: Biodynamic aspects of physical activity
BI238: Intro to histology of tissues
Wilfrid Laurier University
Wilfrid Laurier University
Wilfrid Laurier University
Wilfrid Laurier University