- Soheil Aghamohammadzadeh
- Ting-Wen Cheng
- Li Li
- Greg Luerman
- Stephanie M. McTighe
- Heather Murrey
- Vidya Nadar
- Katrina L. Paumier
- Justin Piro
- Jan-Philip Schülke
- Wei Shen
- Hsing-Chen Tsai
- Lindsay S. Wilson
Postdoctoral Fellow Bio
Stephanie M. McTighe
Ph. D., Behavioral Neuroscience, Behavioral and Clinical Neurosciences Institute, Cambridge University, UK, 2011
M. Phil., Experimental Psychology, Cambridge University, UK, 2006
B. A.; Experimental Psychology, Cambridge University, UK, 2005
I completed my PhD under the supervision of Tim Bussey and Lisa Saksida at the University of Cambridge, UK. My thesis focused on specific functions of the hippocampus and perirhinal cortex, (resolution of visual interference in memory, and spatial pattern separation) and the disruption of these properties in rodent models of amnesia and Alzheimer’s Disease.
I joined the NSRU as a postdoc in March 2011 in the autism unit. This is a fascinating new area of research for me, a very fast-paced field with a lot of potential to do in depth behavioral characterization and combine it with novel approaches. My main focus will be on the 15q11-13 duplication mouse model of autism. In humans, this chromosomal duplication is associated with 1-2% of autism cases. This particular region is also associated with two other developmental disorders, Angelman and Prader-Willi syndromes, making it very important to the study of neurodevelopment. I am also interested in neonatal mouse behavioral development. I am looking forward to working in collaboration with other labs and Pfizer colleagues to conduct truly interdisciplinary research.
Romberg, C.; McTighe, S. M.; Heath, C. J.; Whitcomb, D. J.; Cho, K.; Bussey, T. J.; Saksida, L. M. “False recognition in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease: rescue with sensory restriction and memantine”, Brain, 2012. DOI: 10.1093/brain/aws074. [Epub ahead of print]
McTighe, S. M.; Cowell, R. A.; Winters, B. D.; Bussey, T.J.; Saksida, L. M. “Paradoxical false memory for objects after brain damage”, Science, 2010, 330, 1408 – 1410.
Talpos, J. C.; McTighe, S. M.; Dias, R.; Saksida, L. M.; Bussey, T. J. “Trial-unique, delayed nonmatching-to-location (TUNL): a novel, highly hippocampus-dependent automated touchscreen test of location memory and pattern separation”, Neurobiol. Learn Mem., 2010, 94, 341 – 352.
McTighe, S. M.; Mar, A. C.; Romberg, C.; Bussey, T. J.; Saksida, L. M. “A new touchscreen test of pattern separation: effect of hippocampal lesions”, Neuroreport., 2009, 20, 881 – 885.
- Why did you choose Pfizer?
- The Pfizer Neuroscience postdoc program seemed a unique opportunity to do basic biology in an industrial context. This way I can broaden myself as a scientist with academic-style postdoctoral training, while gaining an insight into the drug discovery process.
- Why did you choose to study neuroscience (as a chemist or biologist)?
- I am still fascinated by how the depth and breadth of human behavior can be explained by the molecular, cellular and circuit functions of the brain. I wanted to understand how changes in the brain are translated into behavior.
- What do you enjoy most about your position?
- I like having the freedom to design and work on projects that I find scientifically fascinating, while knowing I am under the direction and guidance of people with vast experience of drug discovery. It is one thing to work on disease-relevant pathways and behaviors, it is another to do it somewhere with the experience, knowledge and resources to take that work and translate it into meaningful treatment for patients. I enjoy the feeling of working for a common goal in treating CNS disease.
- What is/are your current project(s) in Pfizer?
- I am currently characterizing a transgenic mouse with a duplication of a syntenic region of chromosome 15q11-13. In humans, this duplication has been associated with autism, and the mouse model has been shown to have social deficits and other autism-relevant behaviors. My project is currently using behavioral testing and electrophysiology to characterize this interesting new model.
- What is the working environment like in Pfizer?
- It is a very diverse environment, with a wide variety of skills and backgrounds in each lab. In our group we have people working on mouse behavior, cell culture, and molecular biology/biochemistry all focused on autism. I am enjoying working in this kind of a lab, because it gives me a broader background and information about many aspects of autism biology.
- Which conferences did you / are you going to attend this year? Did you/ Are you going to present?
- I attended IMFAR in San Diego in May 2011, just after joining the Pfizer postdoc program.
If you would like to contact any of our Pfizer Neuroscience postdocs, please send an email to Neuroscience.email@example.com.