Scientific Committee

Committee Members

Dr Michael Bale

Research Fellow in Neuroscience (Neuroscience)

I am a research fellow working at the University of Sussex where I am investigating how brain cells make sense of the world.  My experiments focus on how neurons all over the brain encode different types of touch.  I do this by recording electrical activity or taking images of brain cells while subjects are stimulated with complex vibrations.  I have previously worked at the University of Manchester (where I obtained my PhD), HHMI Janelia Research Campus in the US and The Institute of Neuroscience in Alicante, Spain.  I have had some good times away from lab performing touch illusions to general public audiences.

Dr Cassandra Terry

Senior Investigator Scientist

I am currently an Investigator Scientist at The Institute of Prion Diseases at University College London where my research focuses on determining the structure of misfolded proteins that cause neurodegenerative diseases. I am also currently the public engagement coordinator for the institute (with Jessica Sells). I have previously worked at the MRC in Cambridge and at AstraZeneca in Cheshire determining the structure of proteins involved in human disease. I completed my PhD at The University of Sheffield, my MRes in Structural Proteomics at St Andrews University and my BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry also from The University of Sheffield.

Miss Jessica Sells

Laboratory Technician and Volunteer Public Engagement Coordinator

I currently work as a lab technician researching the structure of prion proteins at the MRC Prion Unit at UCL. I have experience of designing and delivering workshops, activities and events to communicate and educate various target audiences in the subject of neurodegenerative diseases through various methods and channels, applying for external funding for public engagement activities, and recruiting scientists to receive training and get involved in public engagement and science communication.

Dr Kif Liakath-Ali

Research Associate

I’m a molecular geneticist by training. I have completed my PhD in 2015 from the University of Cambridge specializing in skin stem cell biology. My focus was how stem cells maintain tissue homeostasis by various molecular and genetic pathways. I have a long-standing interest in neurobiology and enjoy thinking how the brain makes us, us. I’m currently an EMBO research fellow working at Stanford University, USA to study the molecular logic of synapse formation and function. Besides being a scientist, I’m an avid communicator of science. I’m also a STEM ambassador.

Edward Wickstead

Doctoral Researcher

I am a Neurobiologist and PhD student studying at the University of Westminster. I attained my 1st in Biomedical Science (BSc) from King’s College London in 2014. Between 2012-2013 I underwent an exchange year at the National University of Singapore, one of the highest ranking universities in Asia.

Dr Jai Polepalli

Research Fellow

I am a neuroscientist at Stanford University, USA, where my research focusses on investigating the synaptic basis of behaviour and understanding as to how different kinds of memories are formed and retrieved. Particularly, I am investigating as to how various mutations associated with brain disorders alter synaptic processes in different types of neurons and how these altercations lead to the manifestation of disease symptoms.

British Brain Bee

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