Orla Fannon holds a B.A in Psychology from University College Dublin, and an MSc in Neuroscience from Trinity College Dublin. Her MSc research investigated the protective effects of the tricyclic antidepressant amitriptyline against TNFα-induced decrease of neuronal complexity in vitro. Her PhD research aims to develop an enhanced protocol for differentiating stem cells into mature neurons implementing a novel combined 3D hydrogel scaffold and co-culture technique. The resulting neuronal populations are characterised using immunofluoresence, western blot PCR, in addition to using electrophysiological techniques to assess functionality. Her supervisors are Dr. Evangelos Delivopoulos (School of Systems Engineering), Dr. Angela Bithell (School of Pharmacy) and Dr. Ben Whalley (School of Pharmacy).