Statement

Science is about curiosity – innovating the future of health, wellness, and technology using the scientific method. It is a creative process within a system of rules. A question leads to the development of an experiment to answer it. That experiment is designed to limit the number of reasons an outcome can exist. It’s fun, challenging, gruelling, and diverse.

My research background includes the following areas of neuroscience: computational neuroscience, in-vitro and in-vivo (pre-clinical) experiments, neuroimaging, cognitive neuroscience and clinical research using statistical models. My PhD, utilised a combination of techniques to develop a translational neuroimaging and laboratory-based project.

Science research has taught me more than I can explain here, but the most important knowledge-transfer lessons are how to think critically about complex systems, test my ideas effectively, and communicate the outcomes.

Research Background

Translational

Neuroimaging Research Communications

Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging
2017
London, United Kingdom UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square

Content development for patient/public facing research, methods, and engagement activities at the Centre.

Amber worked with twenty-two Principal Investigators to develop and co-design accessible content for patients and public. This subsequently formed a cohesive strategy that integrates the wide variety of their individual research. The outcome is a new website and branding identity of a unified and public-facing Neuroimaging Centre.


PhD Research

University College London, Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation and the Department of Neuroinflammation
Awarded 2017
London, United Kingdom UCL Institute of Neurology, Queen Square

Project: Amber’s PhD research is a translational project focused on monitoring biomarkers for mitochondrial dysfunction (i.e. cellular energy changes) in Multiple Sclerosis using 9.4T magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy.

Amber’s PhD is funded by the Grand Challenges (includes: Faculty of Biomedical Sciences and the Biomedical Research Centres at UCLH, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Moorfields Hospital) and the UCL Overseas Research Scholarship.


Patient/Public Involvement, Engagement, and Communications

Leonard Wolfson Experimental Neurology Centre (LWENC), Clinical Research Facility (CRF)
2015-2017
University College London Hospital, NHS Trust

Amber worked directly with patients, clinicians and nursing staff developing a new patient/public involvement and engagement (PPI/E) programme at the Clinical Research Facility (CRF). She was responsible for:

(i) The development and implementation of a novel PPI/E programme.
(ii) Designing collaborative solutions facilitating user involvement/engagement in translational research development with patients, carers, and the public.
(iii) collecting and analysing metrics and assessing the impact of the LWENC CRF.

brain-infection-xray

Clinical Editor

Remedica Medical Education and Publishing
2012 – 2015
London, United Kingdom

Amber contributed to monthly journal reviews at Remedica’s Current Medical Literature: Multiple Sclerosis, translating clinically relevant information from pre-clinical neuroscience research articles.

Remedica and Current Medical Literature journals are review publications, in print and online, that identify and highlight important developments in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of specific therapeutic areas. Each issue features in-depth critical review articles, written by practising specialists, discussing current and emerging topics of clinical interest.

 

Pre-Clinical

Research Assistant

UCL Institute of Neurology, Department of Neuroinflammation
Experimental Neuroinflammation Group
June 2010 – October 2011 (1 year 5 months)
London, United Kingdom

Project – Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis immunohistochemical investigation of hypoxia and superoxide production in the spinal cord

Research Interests: immunohistochemistry, immunofluorescence, confocal microscopy, energy deficiency in multiple sclerosis and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, reactive oxygen species, hypoxia, axonal injury

lab13

Masters of Science (Clinical Neuroscience)

University of Roehampton, Department of Life Sciences
Awarded 2010 (Distinction/Summa Cum Laude)
London, United Kingdom
Dissertation: Role of 9-cis retinoic acid against amyloid beta [1-40]-induced neural stem cell toxicity and the mediating role of endogenous interleukin 1 beta (Distinction/Summa Cum Laude)

 

Research Trainee

Denison University
Awarded 2009
Bachelors Degree, Psychology (Neuroscience), Chemistry, Denison University
Pre-clinical research experiment training (Neuroscience, Chemistry): 2005-2009
Clinical research experiments (Cognitive Psychology, Child Behavioural Psychology): 2006, 2008

 

 

Clinical


Clinical Trial Data Manager
(Research Assistant)

Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Research Centre, UCL
2015
London, United Kingdom

MS-SMART is a clinical research trial lead by Dr. Jeremy Chataway investigating whether three potential drug treatments could slow or halt disability progression in people with Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis.

The trial has 15 sites collaborating nationally. Amber managed the clinical research data and sponsor queries for the electronic case report forms in the Queen Square MS Centre, for the first 113 patients.


Research Associate

University College London, Department of Brain Repair and Rehabilitation
(Honorary Research Contract)
2013-2015
Queen Square Multiple Sclerosis Research Centre, London UK

Project – Investigating metabolic and gray matter in patients with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Amber analyzed patient MRI and spectroscopy data, inclusive of pre-clinical translational data in collaboration with clinical researchers. The aim was to compare and translate pre-clinical data to clinical findings.

 

MSc lab

Research Intern

Vanderbilt University, Psychiatry Department
2007 (Summer)
Nashville, Tennessee, United States

Project – Neural basis of cognitive control disturbances and emotional self-regulation in Major Depressive Disorder


Howard Hughes Research Fellow

Denison University, Psychology Department
2006 (Summer)
Granville, Ohio, United States

Project – The interaction of category knowledge and learning with cross-classified items.

Publications

2017 papers in progress from Amber’s PhD thesis – Longitudinal changes in metabolite concentrations and lesion development in EAE and multiple sclerosis using 1H-MR Spectroscopy and MRI.

Amber Michelle Hill, Mohamed Tachrount, David L Thomas, Kenneth J Smith, Xavier Golay, and Olga Ciccarelli. N-acetyl aspartate predicts disease severity in an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). ISMRM 2016.

Torben Schneider, Gemma Nejati-Gilani, Mohamed Tachrount, Ying Li, Amber M Hill, Olga Ciccarelli, Ken Smith, David Thomas, Daniel C Alexander, and Claudia A M Wheeler-Kingshott. Diffusion MRI reveals tissue specific changes in early and late stages of degeneration within the spinal cord. ISMRM 2014.

Amber Michelle Hill and Professor Olga Ciccarelli (2013). Preclinical and Clinical Applications of 1H-MRS in the Spinal Cord in Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy: Tools for Neuroscience Research and Emerging Clinical Applications, 1st Edition. Oxford, United Kingdom: Elsevier.

Amber Michelle Hill, Mohamed Tachrount, Nils Mulhert, Dan Altmann, Alan Thompson, and Olga Ciccarelli. Metabolic changes in the grey matter and its association with cognitive impairment in relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. Queen Square Symposium 2013.

Amber Michelle Hill, Bernadett Kalmar, Mona Sadeghian, and Linda Greensmith. An in vivo measurement of superoxide radical production in mutant SOD1 mice. UCL Institute of Neurology Queen Square Symposium, 2012.*Finalist

Amber Michelle Hill and Professor Kenneth Smith. Demyelinating lesion induced by the intraspinal injection of bacterial lipopolysaccharide. UCL Institute of Neurology: Multiple Sclerosis Symposium London, oral presentation, 2010.

Amber Michelle Hill and Professor Seth Chin Parker. The interaction of knowledge and learning with cross-classified items. Denison University Summer Research Scholars Symposium, poster presentation. Granville, Ohio, United States, 2006.

Remedica Publications: Journals that Amber’s reviews were published in can be found here.