Megi is the latest PhD researcher to receive funding from the NSG at the QMC. She says:-
Having studied Neuroscience at degree level, I learnt about brain function and disease as well as the importance of research in the field. I have particularly enjoyed modules relating to the central nervous system dysfunction which resulted in me taking an optional Masters module called ‘Molecular Aspects of Brain Disease’ in my third year. Having thoroughly enjoyed my lectures, I wanted to gain practical experience in the field in order to find out for myself what being a neuroscience researcher is like.
I was appointed as a volunteer research assistant in the Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre in 2012 which enabled me to familiarise myself with the principles of brain imaging and find out more about its applications in neurodegenerative research. I was part of a team investigating the contribution of iron rings surrounding lesions to disease progression in multiple sclerosis (MS) and later participated in another project using magnetoencephalography (MEG) which investigated brain network recruitment in healthy children and young adults. The knowledge and practical experience I gained from these placements allowed me to acquire first-hand experience in conducting studies and successfully apply for my current research assistant position following graduation.
Following my graduation I was employed by the NHS Trust as a research assistant and worked in the Academic Division of the Clinical Neurology Department specialising in MS research using MRI. My main project involved collecting data for my PhD project on the validity of using clinically acquired MRI scans for research purposes using clinical biomarkers of white matter lesion development and atrophy. I was also involved in a variety of other MS projects led by my current supervisors Dr. Nikos Evangelou and Dr Alain Pitiot, such as investigating cognition in MS and comparing histopathological and MRI findings in MS.
My experience in the Clinical Neurology Department has solidified my desire to pursue a career in this profession. I am very excited about the PhD I started in October 2015 thanks to the help from the Neuroscience Support Group at QMC.