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Jessica Scaife

BSc (Hons) PhD PGCE


Post-doctoral Researcher

During my career I have gained broad range of experience investigating brain function in both patient populations and healthy volunteers.I have an honours degree in neuroscience and a PhD in psychopharmacology from Nottingham University. My doctoral research examined the effects of benzodiazepines on conditioned learning and fear potentiation of evoked responses. 

I am currently working on the first UK clinical trial of deep brain stimulation (DBS) for severe intractable anorexia nervosa (AN) with Prof Rebecca Park and Prof Tipu Aziz, as part of the OxBREaD team. We are investigating neuronal changes using MEG and behavioural measures and recording symptomatic changes following stimulator implantation.

I am also working with Prof Catherine Harmer, Dr Susannah Murphy and Dr Amy Gillespie on a clinical trial of a novel antidepressant: a 5HT4 agonist in both a depressed population who have not responded to SSRIs and an unmediated group. This post involves fMRI, and electrophysiological measures and behavioural testing.

I have also previously worked with Prof Paul Harrison and Dr Elizabeth Tunbridge's Translational Neuroscience group, investigating the impact of COMT inhibition on emotional processing, reward and stress and its modulation by genotype.

During my first postdoctoral position in Dora Duka's lab at Sussex University, I investigated the effects of alcohol on cognition and emotional processing using fMRI and a battery of cognitive tasks.

I then came to Oxford to work with Rebecca Park's OxBREaD group, investigating the neurobiological basis of AN in a currently-ill and recovered population. Our research investigates the neural and behavioural correlates of reward and habit formation in AN using fMRI and MEG. I also managed the first pilot study of DBS for AN with Rebecca Park and Tipu Aziz.