Patrick is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Neuroscience at the University of British Columbia’s Brain Research Centre, supervised by Dr. Kurt Haas. The lab specializes in genetic and functional factors underlying neuronal development, performing comprehensive imaging of growing neurons in-vivo. Patrick’s software background lets him combine their large volumetric structural data sets with functional recordings of neuron behaviour as they develop.
A number of tools exist for analyzing the structure of neurons, however few support tracking changes over the time period of minutes to days which is essential for tracking their development. Recent advances in microscopes also allow recording activity levels across an entire neuron, and this project aims to be the first to combine the two in openly available software.
By analyzing functional behaviour in conjunction with structural growth, we can finally test theories at how the two work together as a brain develops, which will let us and others research how changes in genes or firing activity can affect developmental disorders.
Watch Patrick give a presentation of his current work.