Ashwathi Prithviraj (ESR02)

PhD student at University of Manchester

Country of residence
United Kingdom
Country of origin
Prof. Robert Lucas
Dr. Annette Allen
Starting date
February 15, 2021

Hi, my name is Ashwathi and I’m a doctoral research student of Neuroscience at the University of Manchester. My research background is work in chronobiology and neuroscience and I have an integrated Master of Science degree from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Thiruvananthapuram.

My proclivity towards neuroscience during my undergraduate years of study developed into a strong passion for chronobiology during my Master’s thesis, where I worked on circadian brain neuropeptides in Dr. Nisha N Kannan’s lab. Working in a lab hosting several projects on light, vision and the genetic and neural circuitry of circadian rhythms has pushed me to further my understanding of these topics.

Working in Rob Lucas’ fantastic team at Manchester and being a member of the LIGHTCAP group is an immense opportunity for me to discuss and learn from scientists in the field. Being a collaboration of different universities and research groups, there is so much potential for our growth as ESRs and for our better understanding of light and its influence on cognition, attention, and perception as is our aim.

Melanopsin contribution to visual responses and circadian wellbeing

My project will look into the intriguing aspects of melanopsin vision and how it influences a cohort of non-image-forming visual responses that are central to circadian entrainment. We will also be studying the effects of irradiance in the generation and entrainment of gamma oscillations within the brain and its effect on neurodegenerative diseases.


  • LIGHTCAP kick-off meeting, November 2020
  • LIGHTCAP SLIM- Jan, Feb, Mar 2021

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