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Sandra Boccard-Binet


Clinical Research Postdoctoral Fellow

My research focuses on Deep Brain Stimulation. The aim of this research is the improvement of the quality of life of patients suffering from chronic neuropathic pain. I have been a clinical research fellow in Professor Tipu Aziz’s team at the Oxford Functional Neurosurgery from September 2011 to August 2017. I have analysed clinical data, providing an overview of the efficacy of our neurosurgical techniques in order to improve treatment outcomes. Towards that aim I also acquired skills in brain imaging at fMRIB, particularly in tractographic analysis, in order to identify the brain pathways potentially stimulated by the electrodes. Another aspect of my research was to investigate possible psychological side-effects of the stimulation of new brain areas.

In neurosciences, my interests have gradually focussed on neuropsychology. As a scientist, I am thoroughly fascinated by the impact that any alteration in brain functioning may have on a person’s behaviour. Last year, I have therefore decided to do a Master’s degree in Psychology at Brookes University. I also developed my experience in research and clinic by joining the neuropsychology team at the John Radcliffe Hospital. I was in charge of a research study involving hundreds of chronic pain patients, aiming to demonstrate the impact of their psychological makeup on surgery outcomes. This honorary position also gave me the opportunity to shadow the psychologists during their clinical appointments.

Now that I am back at the Oxford Functional Neurosurgery after my Master’s degree in Psychology, I’m getting involved in various projects related to DBS and psychology.

Besides research I also have some experience in teaching, having taught undergraduate and postgraduate students back in France and in Oxford, notably having given tutorials to undergraduate students of the Biomedical Sciences Division of the University of Oxford.

Finally, I currently co-supervise a DPhil. student, Laurie Pycroft.