First preprint from postdoctoral work live!

Check out the first preprint from my postdoctoral work in St Andrews in the NCM Lab! I am particularly proud of what we managed to accomplish through this pandemic!

In this work, we describe the differential expression of two inward currents (PIC and Ih) in fast and slow motoneurons, which are sequentially integrated during the first three weeks of postnatal development, and contribute to the establishment of their orderly recruitment.

These results support the notion proposed long ago, that fast motoneurons are not simply scaled up slow motoneurons and our work provides insight into cellular mechanisms that mediate orderly recruitment beyond the size principle alone.

I am excited to continue to dissect mechanisms that shape motoneuron recruitment, including how they can be modulated to support adaptable movement!

Our New Pre-print is Live!

We are excited to share our latest Preprint from the Whelan Lab in collaboration with Computational Neuroscientists Gennady Cymbalyuk and Alex Vargas from Georgia State University!
Locomotor behaviours are often episodic, and although this has been well described in a variety of invertebrate and vertebrate species, the intrinsic mechanisms that govern episodic rhythmic activity are poorly understood.

In this article we deploy a computational model of a half centre oscillator (HCO) and an in vitro experimental model of the new-born mouse spinal cord to explore intrinsic mechanisms that govern the generation of episodic rhythmic activities.

Our computational model and experimental approaches suggest that dynamic interactions between Na+/K+ pump, h-, and persistent Na+ currents can produce episodic activity and that modulation of these currents leads to transitions from episodic to continuous rhythmic activities.

We also found multistable zones near transitions between episodic and continuous patterns while manipulating h – or pump currents in our model where rapid switching between patterns could be induced by introducing brief, but specific perturbations to the model HCO.

Our study provides insight into mechanisms that govern the generation of and transitions between multiple forms of rhythmic activity and suggests that, episodic and continuous patterns, can be generated by a single, but tuneable CPG element in the spinal cord.

Model Systems and Tools Textbook Published!

Very pleased with the final product of our textbook. I sincerely enjoyed working with all of the authors that contributed to the Chapters of this Volume. This book will be a valuable addition to shelf of those that are interested in not only the neural control of movement, but also behaviour, which is largely driven by the motor system.

Check out my web page for a summary and links to order your own copy!

Opportunity for PhD Studies in the Miles Lab

Check out this link for details on this PhD opportunity!

We are pleased to announce that we have received a Studentship from Tenovus Scotland to fully fund a PhD student for three years to study the functional role of V0c interneurons in the control of breathing circuits and contribution to recovery of function following spinal cord injury. We will be actively recruiting an enthusiastic individual to conduct these works.