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Hayriye Cagnan studied Electrical and Electronics engineering at Cornell University as a Fulbright Scholar and specialized in signal processing and biomedical engineering (2000-2004). In 2004, she was awarded a British Chevening scholarship and was accepted to the M.Sc. programme in Engineering and Physical Science in Medicine at Imperial College. Hayriye completed her Ph.D. in Neuroscience in a joint placement between the University of Amsterdam and Philips Research Laboratories in 2010. Subsequently, Hayriye joined Professor Peter Brown’s research group and worked on tremor pathophysiology. In 2015, Hayriye was awarded a MRC Skills Development Fellowship in Biomedical Informatics, and was based at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London.

Hayriye was awarded a MRC Career Development Award in 2018. As part of her new research programme, Hayriye is developing theoretical tools and experimental approaches to elucidate how different brain regions communicate and control behaviour in heath and disease. Taking this forward, Hayriye will explore the potential of using finely-timed stimulation to modulate brain activity for improved symptom relief with fewer side effects in Essential Tremor and Parkinson's disease. 

Hayriye Cagnan


MRC Career Development Fellow

Dynamic Neuromodulation

Group Science

Our everyday actions, from decision making to motor control, are thought to involve information exchange through transient, often rhythmic, neural synchrony across multiple brain regions. Emerging evidence suggests that a range of neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease (PD), essential tremor (ET), dystonia and dyskinesia could be attributed to dysfunction of this fundamental neural property. To date, the functional and pathological roles of transient neural synchrony remains unknown, a critical link that could be leveraged to identify novel ways of treating aberrant synchrony. We aim to utilize deep brain stimulation (DBS) in order to selectively and dynamically modulate synchrony in the cortico-basal ganglia loop to establish the functional role of transient synchrony, and its pathological role in PD and ET.

Key Research Areas
  • selective neuromodulation – modulating neural activity of interest while sparing other physiological function
  • dynamic neuromodulation – adjusting neuromodulation according to the current state of the neural system
  • mimicking nature – learning from spontaneous neural processes how to modulate neural synchrony
Research Techniques
  • Deep Brain Stimulation (sensing and stimulating)
  • Theoretical Modelling (single unit to population level models)
  • Neuroimaging (MEG)

Funding: Medical Research Council