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The Department of Paediatrics offers a variety of doctoral opportunities across its research themes. Take a look at the outlines of prospective DPhil projects - and please get in touch with the relevant supervisor to discuss the details. Prospective students may apply to this programme with their own research proposal. Please make sure you contact your preferred supervisor for a discussion of your project before submitting your application.

The impact of apnoea on brain activity in preterm infants

Supervisor: Dr Caroline Hartley

Project outline: Apnoea - the cessation of breathing - is a common pathology associated with prematurity. These potentially life-threatening events can result in reduced cerebral oxygenation and frequent apnoeas have been associated with long-term effects including reduced childhood cognitive ability. Brain activity drives brain development during the critical preterm period but the immediate impact of apnoeas on brain activity is not well understood. The aim of this project will be to characterise the relationship between apnoeas and brain activity in preterm infants, and how this changes with development. EEG (electroencephalography) and physiology will be recorded simultaneously, and signal processing approaches will be used and developed to fully characterise this relationship. This research will enhance our understanding of apnoeas, and ultimately seeks to improve outcomes for prematurely-born children.

Contact details: caroline.hartley@paediatrics.ox.ac.uk

Applications by: 8th January 2021

Further information: The focus of the lab is to understand the impact of physiological instability on brain development in premature infants. 1 in every 10 babies are born prematurely; understanding and mitigating the long-term impact of premature birth is important to improve the lives of these children. We develop novel methodologies with the aim to provide a greater understanding of infant brain development and derive tools which can be translated to the clinical setting.