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Margarita Zachariou

Margarita Zachariou
Position: Post Doctoral Fellow

Dr Margarita Zachariou is a postdoctoral research fellow in Bioinformatics Group at The Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics. Her research interests lie broadly in the area of computational biology with a focus on network analysis in systems biology and bioinformatics as well as theoretical neuroscience. Her research approach is multidisciplinary and draws upon a number of established principles from different scientific disciplines but is predominantly from those of nonlinear dynamics, statistics, systems and network analysis, computational and mathematical neuroscience and machine learning theory.  

She initially received a B.Sc. in applied mathematics from the University of Cyprus in 2003. During her bachelor degree she had the opportunity to spend a semester as an Erasmus student at the University of Aberystwyth in Wales (2002). In 2008 she completed the requirements for a Ph.D. in Mathematics (joint between the Schools of Mathematical Sciences and Biological Sciences) with a focus on Mathematical Neuroscience at the University of Nottingham in UK. She developed detailed and reduced models of the CA3 region of hippocampus, which she analysed and used as a conceptual framework to test hypotheses about the neuronal circuits involved in normal sensory gating and particularly the role and effect of cannabinoids on the sensory gating deficit. From 2008-2010 she worked as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Nottingham, assisting with the organization of integration and training activities of the Virtual Physiological Human Network of Excellence. She also worked as a part-time lecturer in Mathematics at the Nottingham Trent University (2008/09) and as a “Bridging the Gaps Interdisciplinary Fellow” in a collaboration between the Schools of Mathematical Sciences and Electrical & Electronic Engineering at the University of Nottingham (2009-2010). In 2010, she received the DIDAKTOR fellowship, funded by the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation (hosted in the Computer Science Department, University of Cyprus).  During her fellowship she has extensive worked in providing the essential mathematical and computational framework for gaining insight into the biochemical machinery underlying memory and learning, and how this is affected by cannabinoids in both pathological conditions and normal brain function.  Following that she worked in on a joint project by the University of Maastricht, The Netherlands (Prof P De Weerd, Dr M Roberts) and the University of Nicosia Medical School, Cyprus, (Dr A Hadjipapas), funded by the Competitive Calls Programme through the FP7 Flagship Human Brain Project.  During this project she focused on investigating through mathematical modeling the underlying neural circuits generating the observed gamma rhythm brain signals measured in primates.