Congratulations to Emma Robson who won the competitive Ede and Ravenscroft prize for best PhD student.
The title of Emma’s presentation was ‘Finding your way around: The importance of brain rhythms’. In her talk, Emma explained her research into glutamate, a major transmitter in the brain. Glutamate has several different receptors, one of which is named the KAr, so called because it is strongly activated by kainic acid (KA), a marine acid produced by algae and seaweed. The principal aim of her research project was to investigate functions of the KAr, which is increasingly being shown to be important in neuronal communication, particularly in synchronization of brain activity. Evidence also points to important roles for the KAr in brain disorders, including pain,neurodegenerative syndromes (such as Alzheimer’s disease), schizophrenia and epilepsy.