Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

- Do Seizures and Epilepsy Increase Vulnerability to Develop Alcohol Use Disorder?
- Investigating the contribution of astrocyte function to impulsive behaviour
- Investigating the influence of striatal and midbrain dopamine D2 receptors on impulsivity and function of the prefrontal cortex
- Investigating the role of individual differences in sleep in risk for alcohol use disorder
- Investigating the role of neuroinflammation in impulsivity

20052023

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Biography

Dr Bianca Jupp is a Research Fellow and Lead Pre-clinical PET/CT Scientist in the Department of Neuroscience in the School of Translational Medicine at Monash University. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Melbourne (2008), followed by postdoctoral training at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health (2008-2011) and the Department of Psychology at the University of Cambridge, UK (2011-2019) where she held Fellowships from the NHMRC, AXA Research Fund and Newton Trust.

Dr Jupp’s research primarily investigates the neural mechanisms underlying addiction and addiction vulnerability with a particular emphasis on behavioural traits known to mediate risk for this disorder, such as impulsivity and cognitive flexibility. As part of this work, Dr Jupp has developed an interest and expertise in the application of pre-clinical neuroimaging, specifically PET and MRI, to investigate individual differences in behaviour and treatment response in rodent models, with a focus on the translational utility of these approaches.   

Supervision interests

Do Seizures and Epilepsy Increase Vulnerability to Develop Alcohol Use Disorder?
There is increasing evidence to suggest the prevalence of alcohol use disorder is increased in individuals with epilepsy. It is not clear however what underlies this relationship. While alcohol abuse and withdrawal are known to predispose to seizures, individuals with epilepsy often have behavioural characteristics, for example, a tendency for impulsive behaviour (impulsivity), depression and anxiety, which are known risk factors for the development of alcohol use disorder.

Investigating the contribution of astrocyte function to impulsive behaviour
While traditionally thought to primarily support neuronal function, there is increasing evidence to suggest astrocytes play an important role in regulating cognition and behaviour. We have evidence that rats with naturally high levels of impulsive behaviour demonstrate increased markers of astrocyte activation within the brain.

Investigating the influence of striatal and midbrain dopamine D2 receptors on impulsivity and function of the prefrontal cortex
Impulsivity, a tendency to rash, risky decision making, is associated with increased risk for developing drug addiction. Like addiction, impulsivity is accompanied by deficits in striatal and midbrain dopamine D2 receptor function. It is unclear however how this pathological hallmark predisposes individuals to addiction.

Investigating the role of individual differences in sleep in risk for alcohol use disorder
Sleep disruptions are a common feature of alcohol use disorder (AUD) which persist despite many years of abstience. Notably sleep disturbance and sleep disorder is associated with increased risk for AUD, suggesting a bidirectional relationship between sleep, alcohol use and the development of addiction.

Investigating the role of neuroinflammation in impulsivity
Impulsivity describes a tendency to rash, risky and poorly thought through decisions or actions and is associated with a number of neuropsychiatric disorders including ADHD, suicide and drug addiction. Burgeoning evidence suggests these disorders are associated with alterations in neuroinflammatory processes in the brain, to date however it is unknown whether impulsivity similarly shares this pathological hallmark.

Community service

2018 - “Sunday Papers Live” – Monthly UK stage show bringing the Sunday papers to life

Radio interview - Naked Scientists Program BBC5, BBC Cambridgeshire, ABC Australia - Broadcast 4/11/2018

“Thirsty Talks” – Pub science talk, Cambridge UK

2017 - Hughes Hall Research Showcase

2016 - Published image in “Faszinierendes Gehirn” – Neuroscience ‘coffee table’ book. Springer Spektrum, Heidelberg, 2016

2015 - Documentary Interview - Canadian Broadcasting Company program “The Nature of Things: Wasted” Screening date 19/1/2016

Interview for “Varsity” Magazine - Published 2/11/2015

2011 - 2015 - Science Festival - Cambridge University

2008 - 2010 - Inspiring Scientists” - Scienceworks, Melbourne Museum

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Neuroscience, PhD, Imaging Animal Models of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy: Visualizing the Epileptogenic Hippocampus, University of Melbourne

Award Date: 30 Oct 2008

External positions

Quondam Fellow, Hughes Hall, University of Cambridge

2019 → …

Research area keywords

  • Cognition
  • Behaviour
  • Impulsivity
  • Addiction
  • MRI
  • PET
  • Pharmacology
  • Molecular Biology
  • ADHD

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or