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The University of Southampton
Biological SciencesPostgraduate study

Miss Helena Rawsthorne BSc

Postgraduate Research Student in Biological Sciences

Miss Helena Rawsthorne's photo

In the second year of her degree Helena completed a summer project that looked at the effect of systemic infection on the pathology of Alzheimer's disease. Her third year dissertation focused on using C. elegans to model decision making behaviour. This lead to her interest in nematology and she is now using C. elegans in her PhD to investigate the neural circuits that underlie such behaviours.

Academic Qualifications

2014-2017: BSc Biomedical Sciences. University of Southampton, UK.


Research interests

My research focuses on modelling decision making in the nematode, C. elegans.

In neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia the neural circuits which drive decision making processes are often impaired. My research aims to investigate genes which have been implicated in such disorders by manipulating orthologous genes in C. elegans and testing the impact this has on their decision making behaviour.

PhD supervision: Primary supervisor Professor Lindy Holden-Dye, Co-supervisor Dr James Dillon.
PhD research title: Modelling decision making in C. elegans to understand neural mechanisms of major psychiatric disorders.
PhD Funding: The Gerald Kerkut Charitable Trust.

Affiliate Research Group: Southampton Neuroscience Group (SoNG).

Research group

Biomedical Sciences

Research project(s)

Modelling decision making in C. elegans to understand neural mechanisms of major psychiatric disorders

Genetic differences have been identified in individuals with autism and schizophrenia. Here we are using the model organism C. elegans to investigate how these genetic differences bring about changes in the function of neural circuits.


BIOL2017 Pharmacology B
BIOL2014 Neuroscience

Miss Helena Rawsthorne
School of Biological Sciences
Faculty of Environmental and Life Sciences
Life Sciences Building 85
University of Southampton
Highfield Campus
SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 85/Level 3

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