Meet One of Our Neurophysiology and Imaging Experts
Craig is one of MCI-Neuroscience’s specialist Application Scientists, he is based in the UK. Meet the rest of the team here.
With over 13 years’ research experience in neuronal circuit mapping, imaging and electrophysiology, Craig is an expert neurophysiologist. Craig joined MCI-Neuroscience in 2017 to bolster our development of cutting-edge research tools and to better-help us achieve our mission: to accompany neuroscientists in their work, from the application of our equipment to their research, to the publication of their results in top-tier journals.
As well as training customers on our kit and installing equipment for labs around the world, Craig has also written some informative guides on neuroscience technologies for our NeuroTech Today Blog.
Read Craig’s Guides Here:
- Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals – An Introduction
- Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals. Part 2: Fiber photometry
- Fundamentals Series: Deep-tissue optical recording and stimulation in behaving animals. Part 3: Optical Fiberscope
We took a few minutes of Craig’s time to find out more about him and what drives him.
Q: Your role as an Application Scientist is very varied, which part of the job do you enjoy the most?
Craig Blomeley [CB]: I worked in the lab for many years, I understand how important it is to have the right tools for the job and for those tools to work well. Scientists do not have time to waste in getting results.
They need to be able to rely on their tools day in and day out to produce reliable, reproducible results. And, they need to publish those results in a timely fashion.
It may seem like my job is varied because one day I’ll be installing a micromanipulator in one lab, and another day I’ll be training a group in the stereotaxic surgery techniques necessary to implant electrodes. I enjoy the variety, but what I really enjoy is helping problem-solvers solve problems. I get a lot of satisfaction from seeing research published using our equipment. Equipment that I and other neuroscientists have shaped and developed to further neuroscience research.
Q: Which MCI product are you most excited about?
[CB]: I am very excited about our new technologies that will be launching this year. In vivo recording, stimulation and imaging techniques are enabling neuroscientists to get answers to neuroscience’s difficult questions. I am eager to see how our new products will help labs transform their research output and hopefully translate their findings into therapeutic approaches. As a company we want to be there to help labs to pioneer their research into translatable therapies that help people, and that’s what excites me the most.
“It still amazes me how quickly scientists can use their imagination to adopt new technologies and advance their research.”
– Craig Blomeley, Ph.D, Application Scientist
Q: You have worked in neuroscience research for over a decade, what are the biggest changes you have seen in this period?
[CB]: The field of neuroscience is advancing at a rapid pace. In under a decade, we’ve seen the rapid uptake by labs of optogenetic techniques, viral tracing, CRISPR-based gene editing, Super Resolution microscopy and now new technologies that are allowing us to probe further and deeper to understand the workings of the brain.
When I started in the lab, the focus was on electrophysiology in brain slices. Now, the focus is imaging neuronal activity in a population of neurons over time whilst the animal moves freely about its environment.
It is difficult to publish solely on work done in acute brain slices now. It’s still important, but the neuroscientist needs to relate their findings to the whole organism and its behavior. Only by probing the workings of the intact brain can we truly hope to unlock its secrets.
Did you know we started out by building super-stable micromanipulators? Find out more about our range here
Q: What still surprises you about research?
[CB]: Research is great when it works. There really is nothing else like it! I find it fascinating when new technology induces a step-change in the advancement of scientific research. It still amazes me how quickly scientists can use their imagination to adopt new technologies and advance their research.
|Craig obtained his undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences from the University of Manchester, UK, before undertaking his doctoral studies in the lab of Enrico Bracci at the same University.
Craig completed a postdoc at the University of Manchester before joining Denis Burdakov’s group at the University of Cambridge and then the Francis Crick Institute in London, UK, as a career development fellow.
Blomeley, C., Garau, C., & Burdakov, D. (2018). Accumbal D2 cells orchestrate innate risk-avoidance according to orexin signals. Nature neuroscience, 21(1), 29.
Cains, S., Blomeley, C., Kollo, M., Rácz, R., & Burdakov, D. (2017). Agrp neuron activity is required for alcohol-induced overeating. Nature communications, 8, 14014.
Blomeley, C. P., Cains, S., & Bracci, E. (2015). Dual nitrergic/cholinergic control of short-term plasticity of corticostriatal inputs to striatal projection neurons. Frontiers in cellular neuroscience, 9, 453.
Cains, S., Blomeley, C. P., & Bracci, E. (2012). Serotonin inhibits low‐threshold spike interneurons in the striatum. The Journal of physiology, 590(10), 2241-2252.
Blomeley, C. P., Cains, S., Smith, R., & Bracci, E. (2011). Ethanol affects striatal interneurons directly and projection neurons through a reduction in cholinergic tone. Neuropsychopharmacology, 36(5), 1033.
Lepora, N. F., Blomeley, C. P., Hoyland, D., Bracci, E., Overton, P. G., & Gurney, K. (2011). A simple method for characterizing passive and active neuronal properties: application to striatal neurons. European Journal of Neuroscience, 34(9), 1390-1405.
Blomeley, C. P., & Bracci, E. (2011). Opioidergic interactions between striatal projection neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 31(38), 13346-13356.
Blomeley, C. P., Kehoe, L. A., & Bracci, E. (2009). Substance P mediates excitatory interactions between striatal projection neurons. Journal of Neuroscience, 29(15), 4953-4963.
Blomeley, C. P., & Bracci, E. (2009). Serotonin excites fast‐spiking interneurons in the striatum. European Journal of Neuroscience, 29(8), 1604-1614.