Project Title: Neurophysiological investigation of brain stimulation via temporally interfering electric fields
Supervisor: Dr Nir Grossman
Location: Burlington Danes Building, Hammersmith Hospital Campus
MRC PhD Studentship

About Me

I graduated from King's College London with a BSc (Hons) degree in Biomedical Science in 2014, specialising in neuroscience and including a final year project in the MRC centre for Developmental Neurobiology, involving glial degeneration in Drosophila. 

In 2015 I completed an internship at the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University, working on an Alzheimer's Society funded project using human brain tissue from Lewy Body Dementia and Parkinson's disease patients.

In 2016/2017, I studied towards the MRes Experimental Neuroscience at Imperial College London. During the course, I worked on three projects involving non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, optical imaging and immunohistological investigation of neuronal subpopulations involved in sleep and thermoregulation respectively. 

I was awarded an MRC funded Studentship and I am currently undertaking a PhD in non-invasive, targeted bioelectronic brain modulation in the Grossman Lab of the Dementia Research Institute (DRI) at Imperial College. I spent the first year of my PhD gathering data in the Boyden Lab at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where I was trained in groundbreaking robotic techniques for neurophysiological measurement of brain activity.

When not in the lab, I can typically be found up a mountain or in nature- usually taking photographs.

Qualifications 

  • PhD (expected 2021) Clinical Medical Research at Imperial College London, 2017 - present
  • MRes Experimental Neuroscience from Imperial College London, 2016 - 2017 
  • BSc Biomedical Science from King’s College London, 2011 - 2014

Research Interests 

Deep brain stimulation (DBS) as a means to control neural activity is successfully utilised in the treatment of a multitude of disorders caused by neuronal dysfunction. A major limitation of DBS however, is that it requires an invasive surgery to implant the stimulation electrode, which carries the risk of intraoperative and post-surgical complications, thus greatly limiting the number of reachable patients. On the other hand, non-invasive brain stimulation methods such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), and transcranial electrical stimulation (TES), involve application of magnetic pulses and electrical current respectively, across the intact scalp and skull. Whilst these techniques are safe and painless, efficacy of treatments have been questioned due to their inability to reach deep brain structures. A recently reported, novel method for non-invasive deep brain stimulation is Temporal Interference (TI) stimulation. This technique has the potential to address the issues described above and become an invaluable tool in medicine. The mechanism of action of TI stimulation is unknown and before widespread adoption can happen however, the focality of the stimulation must be improved to rival DBS. The overarching goal of my research is to facilitate the improvement and clinical adoption of TI stimulation by discovering its underlying physiological mechanism, and I aim to achieve this by utilising a combination of innovative neurophysiological and optical imaging techniques.

Professional memberships

British Neuroscience Association (BNA)

Public Engagement and Fundraising 

  • Three Peaks Challenge for Mind the Mental Health Charity- September 2017
  • Dementia Revolution Volunteer at the London Marathon- April 2019

Contact Details

Email: c.luff16@imperial.ac.uk
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CharlotteLuff
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/charlotte-luff