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My interest in neuroscience developed gradually during my career as a dentist and as an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. My fascination for neuroscience began while studying neuro-anatomy and physiology during my undergraduate studies in dentistry. During my clinical rotations, when I encountered patients and managed their pain for the first time, I realized that the subjective perception of pain is modulated effectively by past memories of a person and not just by intensity of the stimulus which provoked it. This and many other aspects intrigued me to study and discover further frontiers of memory formation in the brain.
Memory encoding, consolidation, and retrieval constitute one of the most intriguing and complex brain functions. A large body of research over the last decades has established the fact that sleep benefits memory consolidation. The mechanism by which this consolidation happens during sleep is still a mystery and we are only beginning to understand this important topic. Whereas older research concentrated on the role of rapid-eye-movement sleep, recent work has revealed the importance of slow-wave sleep for memory consolidation and also enlightened some of the underlying neurochemical modulatory mechanisms in these processes. During my masters I will be interested in investigating the role of neurochemical (cholinergic) modulation during slow wave sleep in learning and memory consolidation. I will use two photon laser scanning microscopy to image spine turnover, a structural signature/correlate of memory formation and consolidation, and investigate how altered cholinergic modulation during slow wave sleep will affect procedural memory consolidation for a motor task.
- Bachelors in Dental surgery (2010)
- Postgraduate Fellowship of College of Physicians and Surgeons Pakistan (Residency completed in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2011-2015)