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Great Heritage Funding crucial to world leading hypoxia research at Bangor

In collaboration with Dr Jamie Macdonald and Sam Oliver at the School of Sport and Exercise Science, Dr Paul Mullins from the School of Psychology has been studying the effects of hypoxia on cerebral physiology for the past 7 years. In this time, they’ve have had two very successful PhD students, and some ground-breaking discoveries about how the human brain copes with lowered oxygen availability. Research of this type is extremely important to understand what happens in the brain during periods of hypoxic exposure weather due to clinical complications, or because you are a climber at the top of the world up a mountain.

Research of this type also provides a unique window on how the brain copes with physiological stress, and allows us to probe neuro-vascular coupling (the link between neural activity and cerebral blood flow) which has vast implications for imaging-based neuroscience. Recently, a neuroimaging MSc student, Matthew Rogan, has been awarded a PhD scholarship through the Great Heritage fund to continue this research with us. Dr Paul Mullins commented “Having been trained through his Masters in Neuro-imaging in the novel imaging methodologies we plan to employ as we continue these studies, Matthew is well placed to take this research even further. Gaining this funding has been really beneficial to our research program, and will enable us to further grow the “hypoxia” research group, establishing a centre of world excellence for this sort of research at Bangor University.”

Expanding on the importance of the funding and the facilities Bangor University has Mathew said “The Great Heritage scholarship has provided me with perfect opportunity to continue my studies and research in to the cutting-edge field of the neurovascular response to hypoxia. I have spent the past year developing advanced theoretical and practical skills in neuroimaging practice and analysis. I hope to both use and expand these skills during the PhD residency to produce world leading research in the hypoxia domain under the supervision of experts in the field of magnetic resonance imaging and extremes physiology. Bangor University provides the perfect academic environment to develop a unique skill set enabling me to go on to be research focused academic.

The facilities and expertise housed in both the School of Psychology and School of Sport Health and Exercise Science are world class and by the cross-collaborative nature of the great heritage fund studentship, I am perfectly situated to utilise the excellence both schools have to offer. I am exceptionally grateful for being awarded this scholarship and look forward to the future here at Bangor University.”   

Publication date: 4 October 2018