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Dr David Menassa

Lecturer in Neurophysiology

Introduction

I obtained my BSc in biological and earth sciences at the Université Saint Joseph in Beirut in 2006. Following a brief spell at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, I completed my MSc in applied physiology at the University of Oxford followed by an MPhil in bioenergetics at the University of Cambridge. In 2009, I was awarded a Clarendon scholarship to pursue my DPhil studies in clinical neurology at the University of Oxford. Since 2014, I have held various postdoctoral appointments at Bristol and Oxford. I joined Queen’s in 2017 as stipendiary lecturer in neurophysiology.

Teaching

I teach the neurophysiology syllabus at Queen’s to first year undergraduates in experimental psychology and biomedical science. I supervise extended essays by FHS students within the division of medical sciences.

Research

My research interests are centred on the materno-fetal interface. More specifically, I am interested in the role maternal factors play in fetal neurodevelopment. These factors could include maternal antibodies against fetal brain proteins or oxidative stress signals to the placenta, both of which can alter synaptic wiring in the offspring and increase the incidence of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders, mental retardation and schizophrenia. More importantly, whether these maternal factors could be blocked would be pivotal for potentially rescuing the clinical phenotype. More recently, I have been focusing on the role of microglial cells in synapse formation and pruning during development and postnatally. I currently am a research fellow funded by the Leverhulme Trust at the University of Southampton investigating microglial dynamics during development.

Publications

Please visit https://www.ndcn.ox.ac.uk/team/david-menassa for a constantly updated list of publications.