CURRENT LAB MEMBERS
AMY L MILTON
Amy is a University Professor in Behavioural Neuroscience in the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, and Director of the Cambridge MiND Lab. Her research focuses on the neurochemical and molecular mechanisms underlying memory reconsolidation, and their exploitation to develop new treatments for mental health disorders. She also has a strong interest in the development of translationally relevant models of mental health disorders, and facilitating dialogue between basic and clinical neuroscientists working in mental health.
Amy did her undergraduate degree in Natural Sciences (Neuroscience) at the University of Cambridge, before completing her PhD in the (then) Department of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge under the supervision of Professor Barry Everitt. She was awarded a Research Fellowship in Experimental Psychology at Downing College, Cambridge, which she held for a year before taking up a fixed-term lectureship in the Department of Experimental Psychology at Cambridge. She was appointed a University Lecturer in 2013, achieved tenure in 2018, and was promoted to a full professorship in 2022. She has been the Ferreras-Willetts Fellow in Neuroscience at Downing College, Cambridge, since 2011.
Amy's research has applications to mental health disorders including drug addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, with support by the UK Medical Research Council (MRC), the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). Her work has been covered by a number of media outlets, and has been recognised with awards from the European Behavioural Pharmacology Society. (2017) and the British Association for Psychopharmacology (2022). She has been the General Secretary of EBPS since 2021, and edits for numerous journals including Pharmacology, Biochemistry & Behavior, Bioscience Reports and Scientific Reports.
Postdoctoral Research Associate, January 2023 - present
Morgane joined the lab in January 2023 to research the effect of dopaminergic agents on motivation and effort in rodents. She recently completed a Ph.D. in Behavioural Neuroscience at the Open University in Milton Keynes, working on the striatal neurobiology associated with individual variations in motivated behaviours; she also developed translational procedures to assess motivated behaviours in humans. Prior to this, she was granted a BSc in Cognitive Sciences at the University of Lyon (France) and a MSc in Neuroscience, Behaviour and Cognition at the University of Toulouse (France), during which she investigated the neuropharmacological inhibition of fear memory reconsolidation and the involvement of dopamine in contextual learning.
FELIPPE ESPINELLI AMORIM
Postdoctoral Research Associate, July 2022 - present
Felippe is a behavioural and computational neuroscientist who joined our lab to work on our BBSRC grant. He did his undergraduate degree in Biophysics, followed by a master's degree in Biomedical Engineering and a PhD in Biochemistry, all of them at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. His previous research experience includes EEG signal processing to analyse human motor behaviour and understanding the mechanisms behind memory processes using a combination of behavioural assays, neural networks, and software development. Also, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Uppsala University where he studied the effects of environmental pollutants in Drosophila models using analysis of RNAseq data and machine learning. Currently, he is studying habit formation and compulsive-like behaviours phenotypical differences across rats and humans.
Research Technician, November 2021 - present
Colin’s research focuses on the neurobiology of compulsive checking disorders and is particularly interested in how glutamate in the prefrontal cortical regions regulate checking behaviours. Using sophisticated techniques in behavioural psychology, including fibre photometry, neuropharmacology, and molecular techniques, he is attempting to understand how dysfunction of glutamate in these regions contributes to the core aspects compulsive checking disorders. Colin has a background in molecular biology and neuroscience and, before joining the MiND Lab, worked as a senior research assistant and laboratory manager for Professor Trevor Robbins.
PhD student, October 2020 - present
Adam began his PhD in the lab in October 2020, funded by an MRC Doctoral Training Programme award. He is investigating the development of compulsive alcohol drinking in an outbred rat population using a combination of behavioural and molecular biological approaches.
PhD student, October 2021 - present
Shaira is working towards her PhD in Psychology, supervised by Professor Amy Milton and Professor Trevor Robbins. She is researching habit formation and their maladaptive persistence in obsessive-compulsive disorder using Pavlovian-Instrumental Transfer. Her research will also explore the influences of threat on learning, which will help us understand the underpinnings of compulsivity. Before coming to Cambridge, Shaira worked as a research assistant at the University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust examining the impacts of COVID-19 on staff wellbeing. She completed her BSc in Psychology at the University of Manchester in 2020.
PhD student, October 2022 - present
Luise is a PhD student in Behavioural Neuroscience who joined the Lab in October 2022. Prior to embarking on her PhD, she completed a BSc in Psychology with focus on clinical and cognitive neuropsychology at Durham University alongside working as a research assistant on cognitive correlates of Alzheimer’s disease. This was followed by an MSc by Research in Psychopharmacology and Cognitive Neuroscience awarded by the University of Oxford, having looked at some of the computational mechanisms underpinning reward processing in clinical depression via fMRI. She is currently investigating the behavioural and neural mechanisms underlying phenotypic trait differences in habitual learning and compulsive-like behaviour in a rodent analogue of obsessive-compulsive disorder, which is part of the Lab’s collaborative BBSRC grant.
MARINA RODRÍGUEZ LÓPEZ
PhD student, October 2023 - present
Marina joined the lab in October 2023 as a PhD student. Her research project focuses on studying how stress, particularly early life stress, affects the development of compulsivity in rodent models of obsessive-compulsive disorder. Prior to starting her PhD, Marina completed a BA (Hons) in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at the University of Cambridge and a MRes in Cognitive Neurosciences at University College London (UCL). She also worked as a research assistant in Prof Dominik Bach's lab (UCL), developing a virtual reality paradigm to investigate the learning and extinction of avoidance behaviours.
PhD student, October 2023 - present
Margherita is a PhD student in Psychology who joined the Lab in October 2023. Before pursuing her PhD, she completed a BSc in Psychology at Sigmund Freud University in Vienna and an MSc in Clinical Mental Health Sciences at University College London. During her MSc, Margherita gained valuable work experience as a Research Assistant on the Research for Antipsychotics Discontinuation and Reduction, led by psychiatrist Joanna Moncrieff, acquiring relevant clinical skills and pharmacological knowledge. She also interned at the World Health Organization (WHO), working on MiNDbank, a WHO resource containing international laws and policies on mental health and human rights worldwide. Margherita completed her MSc with a dissertation exploring the role of intrusive imagery in the psychopathology and treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This was followed by a six-month Research Assistant Position with Prof. Trevor Robbins at Cambridge University - where she collaborated on projects investigating the neural underpinnings of OCD - and by a one-year work experience at the European Institute of Oncology, Psychology Department, in Milan. Margherita is currently investigating the role of aberrant memory processing in the relationship between trauma and OCD.
Dou (Alice) Hong // MPhil Student // 2022 - 2023
Bart Sloot // Visiting Masters Student // 2022 - 2023
Harry Robson // MPhil Student // 2021 - 2022
Lydia G Rutherford // MPhil Student // 2020 - 2021
Federico Rotondo // Visiting Masters Student // 2020
Uršulė Taujanskaitė // MPhil Student // 2019 - 2020
Eloise Kuijer // Visiting Masters Student // 2019
Sloane Paulcan // Visiting Masters Student // 2017
Dr Toni Ferragud // Postdoctoral Research Associate // 2016 - 2021
Dr Omar Pérez // PhD Student // 2016 - 2017
Dr Emma Cahill // Postdoctoral Research Associate // 2014 - 2018
Dr George Vousden // PhD Student and Postdoctoral Research Associate // 2013 - 2017
Dr Mark Renshaw // PhD Student // 2010 - 2015
Dr Moritz Schramm // PhD Student // 2009 - 2013