Neuroscientist turned bioinformatician. I used to study the neural circuits pulling the strings of behaviours essential for survival across species, such as escaping from a predator, memory, and sleep. Now I work towards accelerating drug discovery for complex multifactorial diseases.
I completed a PhD in Neuroscience at the Sainsbury Wellcome Center at UCL, investigating how the brain works, one neuron at a time. Currently an Advanced Bioinformatics Data Scientist at BenevolentAI.
Besides doing science I love writing, reading, and editing. I am also an avid hunter of typos and double spaces, a keen organiser of stuff, and I take my figures and slides perfectly aligned. I have a tendency to get lost in my own thoughts, and I believe that finding the right word to convey a thought is an amusing challenge and an interesting game to play. When I am not at work I tend to be on the mats being thrown and throwing people around (i.e. practising Judo), biking, or enjoying a drink with some friends.
If I can help with anything, I would love to. Be it sharing my experience on the academia-industry transition or on MSc/PhD/Graduate School applications, be it proof-reading a statement, giving feedback on a presentation/text/figure, or answering any questions about anything I may know the answers of, if you think I can be useful please get in touch. To know more about me and about what I could help with, take a look at what I have already written in my blog, check out my CV, or visit my Network and Resources page. Feel free to reach out either on Twitter (@oriolpavon) or via email. See you around!
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I am an alumnus from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where I obtained a BSc in Biomedical Sciences, and from the Graduate School of Systemic Neurosciences at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich, where I completed an MSc in Neurosciences. I conducted my MSc Thesis in the group of Prof. Gero Miesenböck at the Center for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at the University of Oxford, investigating circuits underlying sleep regulation in Drosophila. I have been a visiting researcher at the Netherlands Institute for Neuroscience in Amsterdam and the Marmara University in Istanbul. I might as well be a Hopeless Wanderer.
In 2016 I moved to London to join the Wellcome Trust 4-Year PhD in Neuroscience at UCL and completed a first year of rotations. I studied astrocyte glutamate-uptake currents using patch-clamp recordings in acute hippocampal slices in Prof. David Attwell’s group, investigated the connectivity of inhibitory neurons in a midbrain circuit computing innate defensive behaviours in Prof. Tiago Branco’s group, and explored the brain areas involved in homeostatic sleep regulation in zebrafish in Prof. Jason Rihel’s group.
For my PhD project in Prof. Tiago Branco’s group, I combined patch-clamp recordings and single-cell RNA sequencing to (1) investigate the contribution of midbrain Periaqueductal Gray inhibitory neurons to the computation and selection of defensive behaviours to innately threatening stimuli, and (2) identify molecular signatures of specific biophysical properties that are critical for the computation of such behaviours.