David John Parker, BSc (Wales), PhD. Senior Lecturer in Physiology.
I am a College Lecturer in physiology and I give undergraduate supervisions on areas of physiology and neuroscience, covering the IA Physiology of Organisms and 1B Neurobiology courses. My supervisions are fairly informal as I feel that students should be helped to learn in the areas they are interested in or struggle in, rather than be taught.
My work focuses on neuronal networks, groups of nerve cells that interact to generate specific outputs. I record the electrical activity from nerve cells to characterise their normal interactions, and how these interactions are altered as a result of changes to the nervous system. I specifically focus on spinal cord networks in a lower vertebrate model system. In addition to characterising normal network function I examine the physiological changes associated with recovery after spinal cord injury. We understand little of brain function, yet claims (either current or imminent understanding) that we can treat, enhance, or simulate the brain are rife. These claims are at odds with our actual understanding, even for the simple system that I work on, which has led me to develop an interest in logic and the philosophy of science.
I am the course organiser for 1B Neurobiology and Part II Neuroscience, as well as the Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, and Neuronal Networks modules in Part II Neuroscience and PDN. I lecture on motor systems on the 1B Neurobiology course, and on neuronal networks, spinal cord function, and synaptic transmission and plasticity at Part II. I am a demonstrator in neuroanatomy practicals for MVST 1B students, as well as in physiology and neurobiology practicals for 1B NST and MVST. I also supervise Part II research projects and BBS dissertations, as well as postgraduate MPhil and PhD dissertations.
- College Lecturer