Dr Mino Belle
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Neuroscience and Neurology
University of Exeter Medical School
Skills Development Fellowship Vision
A successful Skills Development Fellowship would allow the fellowship holder to develop new research skills that complement and leverage his/her existing research strengths. For example, a fellow whom is an expert in computational neuroscience or molecular biology, should develop skills in research methods used to interrogate and measure electrical excitability of single neurons and neuronal circuits. My overarching goal is to ultimately understand some of the key underlying principles of how genes control physiology and behaviour. I am approaching this primarily by studying how circadian rhythms are generated and communicated across the brain and body. In order to understand the underpinning biological processes operating at these multiple cellular/circuit levels and timescales, advanced mathematical, statistical, computational models and molecular biological tools have to be used and developed, alongside the acquisition of electrophysiological and imaging data. Indeed, the complexity of the data generated will also require new radical thinking in order to develop appropriate methods to interrogate and analyse such data. This offers an unparalleled opportunity for the fellow to develop critical interdisciplinary skills, while benefiting from an existing network of international collaborators.
In turn, the sponsor must understand the fellow’s prior skillset, and how to initially employ and integrate this at the start of the project. The sponsor’s involvement at the start will be substantial, but this will ensure a successful and smooth progression and transition to autonomy for the fellow. The ultimate expectation is for this collaboration to lead to project design refinement and the emergence of new ideas for future multidisciplinary grant applications and publications. This will increase the impact and competitiveness of our research, while furnishing the fellow with the capacity and knowledge to establish an independent multidisciplinary and international research career.
I graduated from the University of Cambridge and University of Central Lancashire with an MBChB in Medicine and a BSc in Psychology and Neuroscience. I subsequently obtained my PhD at the University of Central Lancashire. I then took up postdoctoral positions at the University of Liverpool and University of Manchester before my recent appointment as Lecturer at the University of Exeter Medical School.
I am an applied neurophysiologist with an interest in understanding the nature of neuronal signalling in the brain during health and disease. In particular, I am keen to understand how “analogue” and “digital” neural information is encoded and communicated across brain circuits, and how these signalling processes are influenced by the circadian system and other physiological processes, such as arousal, feeding and the sleep-wake cycle. I am approaching these questions using experimental and computational methods.
- M.D. Belle, A.T. Hughes, D.A. Bechtold, P. Cunningham, M. Pierucci, D. Burdakov, and H.D Piggins. (2014). Acute suppressive and long-term phase modulation actions of orexin on the mammalian circadian clock. Journal of Neuroscience; 34: 3607-3621
- C. O. Diekman*, M.D.C. Belle*, R. Irwin, C. Allen, H. Piggins, and D. Forger (2013). Causes and consequences of hyperexcitation in central clock neurons. PLoS Computational Biology (* shared first authorship). 9(8):e1003196. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003196
- M.D.C. Belle, C.O. Diekman, D.B. Forger, and H.D. Piggins (2009). Daily electrical silencing in the mammalian circadian clock. Science. 9;326(5950):281-4.
Ongoing Projects & Grants
Electrical communication in the mammalian master circadian clock, the suprachiasmatic nuclei
- Dr Casey Diekman, Department of Mathematical Sciences, New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA
- Dr Charles Allen, Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences, USA
- Professor Karl Obrietan, Department of Neuroscience, Ohio State University
Beyond this, I am establishing new collaborations in Europe, America and here in the UK. Such as: