Anna Carobin

0+4 iCASE Student

I obtained my BSc (Hons) in Neuroscience at KCL. For my dual Masters in Brain and Mind Sciences, I studied for 2 years at UCL (UK), Sorbonne University and École Normale Supérieure (France). 

My Undergraduate and Master’s projects focused on electrophysiological and neurochemical biomarker discovery for treatment of Epilepsy and early detection of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) subtypes. My interest in pursuing a PhD in biomarker research for neurodegeneration encouraged me to apply for this highly translationally focused MRC DTP programdiagnosis of neurodegenerative diseases is still made too late and, even then, the success rate in bringing candidate neurological drugs to the market is only about half of what it has been reported for other systems treatment. 

Since starting, I have already had the exciting and challenging opportunity to work in both the academic and industrial thriving science environments. During my first year, I also enjoyed the wide range of seminars, workshopstraining and networking opportunities available to the MRC cohort. The highly interdisciplinary and proactive approach promoted by this program constantly motivates us to widen and diversify our range of experimental techniques and experience. 

The overarching goal of my PhD is to combine transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) with EEG and high-density surface EMG to dentify early signatures of cortico-spinal abnormal excitability in individuals with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and investigate their potential as meaningful diagnostic, progression and possibly pharmacodynamic biomarkers. 

We hypothesize that these electro-diagnostic markers can not only determinmore precisely how excitability abnormalities evolve and spread over time, therefore enabling the progression of a detailed anatomical map of the disease trajectory, but could also help us  to accelerate the search for effective therapies. In particular, these could be incorporated as pharmacodynamic biomarkers to assess target engagement and efficacy of new potential therapies for ALS that are being developed by our industrial collaborators to target specific potassium channels and their regulation of neuronal activity in ALS. 

Feel free to contact us on Twitter @SPiQEneurology and @epilepsy_london or check out our lab on our websites: https://spiqe.co.uk  and http://epilepsy-london.org. 

iCASE Partner

Autifony Therapeutics Limited 

Conferences

Carobin, A., Bashford, J., Premoli, I., Santoro, V., Large, C., Richardson M., Shaw C. 

Feasibility and future role of high-density transcranial magnetic stimulation in ALS: A pilot study in healthy volunteers. Presented at: 31st International Symposium on ALS/MND. 9-11 December 2020.