Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Ayesha Sengupta


DPhil Student

  • Based at National Institutes of Health (NIH), USA

My research investigates the 5-HT mechanisms that modulate fear-related neural circuits and behaviour.  It is evident that 5-HT pathways project to widespread targets throughout the brain, act on multiple receptor types, and control distinct behaviours. Much of the pioneering work exploring the functional role of 5-HT has applied pharmacological approaches. Recent technical advances have enabled us to selectively manipulate 5-HT neurons with great precison and fine-timing, while simultaneously monitoring cell activity and behavioural effects. Understanding the mechanisms through which 5-HT neurons operate endogenously provides the possibility of a more targeted therapeutic approach for affective disorders. I am using a combination of optogenetic, pharmacological and anatomical methods to study the function of 5-HT neurotransmission in physiological and behavioural events underlying fear regulation. These findings could be useful for identifying mechanisms that become dysregulated in conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or phobias.

I have a BA (Hons) in Natural Sciences (Cambridge) and MSc in Neuroscience (Oxford). I am currently carrying out a PhD and am supported by a Wellcome Trust-National Institutes of Health scholarship. My supervisors are Trevor Sharp (Pharmacology, Oxford), David Bannerman (Experimental Psychology, Oxford) and Andrew Holmes (National Institutes of Health, USA).

False False