BrainBox Initiative Conference speaker Isabel Glover

Introducing BrainBox Initiative Conference speaker, Newcastle University PhD student, Isabel Glover

PhD Thesis:
Brainstem motor pathways in health and disease

Institution of study:
Newcastle University

Year obtained:
Thesis deadline Sept 2018

Current Research Area/Activity:
Brainstem motor pathways

Tell us about your research and why you chose this particular area:
My research focusses on brainstem motor pathways. Perhaps understandably given the sophisticated movements it can generate, the corticospinal tract dominates the literature on motor control in humans. However, evidence is emerging that alternative pathways such as the reticulospinal tract may also have a significant role to play. This could be of particular importance to stroke survivors or spinal cord injury patients in which the corticospinal tract is damaged. If we are able to tap into reticulospinal pathways, we may be able to compensate for some of the movement deficits experienced. I am therefore particularly interested in characterising the reticulospinal tract and trying to find new ways in which we can measure its function.

What inspired you to enter the BrainBox Initiative Speaker programme?
I am really excited to be a part of a conference that puts so much emphasis on early career scientists. I look forward to having the opportunity to present my work on corticospinal axonal responses to TMS with different coil orientations.

What equipment do you currently use?
I recently had the opportunity to use the Brainsight cTMS.

What are some current exciting areas of brain stimulation research?
I think that for such a widely used technique, there is still so much that we don’t know about TMS. I’m excited to see how the new cTMS machine developed by Rogue can help us to characterise the specific details of TMS and the experimental work that can follow this.

Do you have any advice for other early career researchers?
Take all the opportunities that come your way, even if you feel completely out of your depth – it’s all part of the learning experience.

What do enjoy when you’re not in the lab?
Anything outdoors from climbing to motorbikes.