Meet the team

Prof. Rodrigo Quian Quiroga


Research Centre Director

Rodrigo is basically puzzled by how the brain works. In particular he is interested is principles of Neural Coding, visual perception, memory, visuo-motor transformations, single-trial evoked potentials, synchronization and the development of methods for the analysis of neurophysiology data.

Rodrigo claims he makes the best asado argentino within the UK neuroscience community.

e-mail: rqqg1 (@)le(dot)ac(dot)uk




Valeria Zonato

Research Centre Manager

Valeria recently joined the Centre having worked at the University since to 2012. She is at the Centre part-time, supporting the group with the administration side of things.






Hernan Rey


Hernan is working on single cell recordings from the human brain in collaboration with the Epilepsy Research Group at King’s College London. Particularly, he is interested in studying the timing of medial temporal lobe responses. He is also interested in abstract concept learning and decision making.



Michael Okun

Research Fellow

Upon completing a Ph.D. in computer science Michael realised he would rather study neuroscience, and ended up investigating neuronal population dynamics in cortical microcircuits. This remains Michael's primary research interest to this very day.




Emanuele SchiavonEmanuele Schiavon

Research Associate

Emanuele joined the centre in January 2015. He has a broad interest for the physiology and the pathology of the brain. His research covers the molecular mechanisms of signal and synaptic transmission as well as the study of compounds that are able to modulate neuronal homeostasis. With a background in electrophysiology and a PhD in physiology he will record neuronal activity while mice explore a virtual environment.




Fanis PanagiotarapoulosFanis Panagiotaropoulos

Research Associate

Fanis is interested in the electrophysiological correlates of consciousness and memory and the functional structure of electrophysiological activity in the brain.

His research in the Centre for Systems Neuroscience involves intracortical recordings of single cells and local field potentials from the medial temporal lobe of human epileptic patients at King’s College, London. At the same time, he holds a visiting researcher position at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany, where his group investigates the neural correlates of conscious perception and predictive coding in the non-human primate brain.


Julieta Campi Julieta

PhD Student

Julieta is working on a project willing to provide new insights to understand memory formation in the hippocampus. To do this, she will combine in vivo electrophysiology with neuroimaging (co-supervised by Prof Ian Forsythe) of mice place cells navigating on a virtual environment.

Julieta's pizzas rival in quality the best Italian pizzas in Leicestershire.

e-mail: jec40 (at) le (dot) ac (dot) uk


Emanuela De Falco

PhD Student

Emanuela has recently joined the research centre (January 2014) and will be working on a new collaborate project, funded by the Human Frontiers Science Program.



Alex Varatharajah

PhD Student


Alex has just started his PhD after completing a bachelors at the University of Leicester in Electrical and Electronic engineering. He is interested in Cognitive Neuroscience and is currently working on a facial recognition project.

He loves to make tapas his favourite being fried goats cheese balls.


Manuel Franco AriasManuel Franco Arias

PhD Student

Manuel is a Biomedical Engineer graduated at Universidad Autónoma de Occidente (Cali, Colombia) and has just started his PhD after completing a Master Degree at the Universidad del Valle, in Biomedical Sciences. He is interested in Evoked Potential generation after continuously visual stimuli. Manuel is granted by PhD COLCIENCIAS scholarship.

He cooks the best “Sancocho”, a delicious Colombian typical soup, in Leicester.



Brendan O'Connor
PhD Student

Brendan is a psychology graduate interested in memory, navigation, sensory processing and neuroethology. The aim of his PhD project is to study concept representations in the mouse hippocampus as animals navigate in a virtual reality environment.

Brendan has been rumoured to make the best baked beans on toast in the greater New Parks area.




Visiting Fellows

Flavio Mourao
Honorary Visiting Fellow

Meet the teamFlavio is interested in how neural networks encode sensory information and how they operate as functional circuits able to generate endogenous activity and observable behaviour. During his phD at the “Núcleo de Neurociências” (UFMG-Brazil), he acquired experience in behaviour analysis, microscopy and electrophysiology coupled with paradigms of memory and learning.

His goal for the next few years is to expand his knowledge in frontiers experimental methodologies that combine behaviour paradigms and extracellular electrophysiological records. His project proposes as central hypothesis that the function of the hippocampus of rodents goes beyond the space navigation, being an ideal system for the study of the conceptual representations.


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Centre for Systems Neuroscience

Centre for Medicine,
Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour
University of Leicester
15 Lancaster Rd,
Leicester LE1 7HA


T +44 (0)116 252 3249


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