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Dr Neela Codadu
908A / 812
Dept. of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
Institute of Neurology, Queen Square
Dr Neela Codadu profile picture
  • Research Fellow
  • Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences

Neela obtained Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy from JNT University, India and MSc Pharmacology from Aston University, UK.

He pursued his PhD thesis ‘In vitro characterisation of epileptiform-like activity’ in Andy Trevelyan’s lab, Newcastle University, UK. During this period, he developed a simple set of extracellular local field potential recording experiments and measures that can be used to characterise the evolution of epileptiform-like activity in brain slices when challenged with different types of pro-epileptic media. This powerful tool was used to understand the effects of drugs acting at different GABA receptors, for example, diazepam and baclofen on the evolution of epileptiform-activity. It was found that these drugs have differential effects that were dependent on the brain region and the mechanisms underlying the development of seizure-like activity. He also discovered a non-canonical mode of communication between different regions in brain slices and its role on how epileptiform-like activity in one region influences the activity in other regions. Using targeted patch-clamp, optogenetics and calcium-imaging techniques, he investigated the roles played by different populations of GABAergic interneurons and their recruitment to different types of epileptiform-like activity. In 2015, he was invited to IBRO-UCT African Advanced School on Epilepsy, Cape Town, to give a lecture on the concepts of extracellular local field potential recording technique and train attendees on building and using an extracellular field potential recording rig. During his PhD, he visited Schevon’s Lab in Columbia University, USA to build a multi-electrode array rig using Utah arrays to record high-density extracellular electrophysiology signals from brain slices of transgenic mouse lines.

In 2018, after PhD, he joined Kind-Wyllie Lab at the University of Edinburgh (UoE) where he used his expertise to understand the pathological mechanisms underlying seizure development in a grain2a rodent model of epilepsy. During his time at UoE, he collaborated with Gonzalez-Sulser’s lab and worked on a project to show that ‘medial septal GABAergic neurons reduce seizure durations upon optogenetic closed-loop stimulation’. In December 2019, he was awarded RS MacDonald Seedcorn fund of £5000 to investigate 'the role of microglia in the development of epilepsy and associated anatomical damage'. Unfortunately, the project had to be discontinued due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2021, he joined Wykes Lab at University College London as a Research Fellow. Currently, he is using state-of-the-art electrophysiology and optogenetic techniques on awake head-fixed mice and different in vivo models of epilepsy to understand the mechanisms underlying seizure generation and developing analysis tools to identify biomarkers of seizure onset zones.

Research Themes
Research Summary
My research interest is to understand the functional organisation of cellular networks of the hippocampus and connected structures, their disruptions in epilepsy and associated comorbidities such as learning and memory. My expertise is in in vitro and in vivo electrophysiology, optogenetics, in vitro calcium imaging, and data analysis. Using a multidisciplinary approach, I investigate and map out epileptic insult-induced changes in network activity patterns and interactions between cell populations. Such an integrative approach will provide insights into the functional roles and interplay of different cell types - glutamatergic and GABAergic neurons, and glial cells - under physiological conditions and in the pathogenesis of epilepsy.
Teaching Summary
Mentored multiple undergraduate and graduate students during PhD and postdoctoral positions.
FEB-2018 – DEC-2020 Postdoctoral Reseach Fellow Center for Discovery Brain Sciences, Kind-Wyllie Lab University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Academic Background
  B.Pharm Pharmacy (2010) JNT University, India
  MSc Pharmacology (2011) Aston University, UK
  PhD Neuroscience (2018) Newcastle University, UK
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