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Dr Susanna Barrett Mierau D Phil, MD

Dr Susanna Barrett Mierau, D Phil, MD

Senior Research Fellow

Office Phone: +44 (0)1223 746746


I am a neuroscientist-neurologist specialized in autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders.   I am a member of the Neuronal Oscillations Group in PDN working with Prof. Ole Paulsen.

Research Interests

My research focuses on the role of NMDA and AMPA receptors in synaptic plasticity and cortical network function during early postnatal development and in the pathogenesis of autism and related neurodevelopmental disorders. 

I am combining electrophysiological recordings at the synaptic and network level and optogenetic techniques to investigate the cell-type specific mechanisms underlying NMDA and AMPA receptor development, impact on circuit function, and role in neurodevelopmental disorders in acute cortical slices and primary cortical cultures.

My research also focuses on mechanisms underlying pre- and post-synaptic forms of plasticity in mouse barrel cortex during early postnatal development. I am using physiologic patterns of stimuli to induce spike-timing-dependent plasticity in acute slices.


Prof Ole Paulsen, PDN
Dr Sue Jones, PDN
Dr Martin Hemberg, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
Dr Darren Logan, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute


I am supervising Part II Neuroscience thesis projects for Cambridge undergraduates in the Natural Science and Medical and Veterinary Science Tripos.  I also have summer-time projects available for undergraduate students who are applying for the Amgen Scholars program, or other supported summer research programs.

Key Publications

Mierau SB, Patrizi A, Hensch TK, Fagiolini M, (2016), Cell-specific regulation of NMDA receptor maturation by Mecp2 in cortical circuits, Biological Psychiatry, 79(9), 746-54. [Epub ahead of print, 2015 June 5]

Volkmann RA, Fanger CM, Anderson DR, Sirivolu VR, Paschetto K, Gordon E, Virginio C, Gleyzes M, Buisson B, Steidl E, Mierau SB, Fagiolini M, Menniti FS, (2016), MPX-004 and MPX-007: New Pharmacological Tools to Study the Physiology of NMDA Receptors Containing the GluN2A Subunit. PLoS One, 11(2), e0148129. [PMID: 26829109]

Khurana V, Mierau SB, Dickerson BC, (2010), “Dementia” and Mez JB, Mierau SB, Dickerson BC, “Behavioral Neurology.” In D.M. Greer (Sr. Ed.), Pocket Neurology (pp. 96-104 & 115-125), Philadelphia: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.

Maalouf R, Mierau SB, Moore TA, Kaul A, (2009), First case report of community-acquired pneumonia due to Tsukamurella pulmonis.  Annals of Internal Medicine, 150(2), 147-8. [PMID: 19153422]

Banerjee A, Meredith RM, Rodríguez-Moreno A, Mierau SB, Auberson YP, Paulsen O, (2009), Double Dissociation of Spike Timing-Dependent Potentiation and Depression by Subunit-Preferring NMDA Receptor Antagonists in Mouse Barrel Cortex, Cerebral Cortex, 19(12), 2959-2969. [PMCID: PMC2774397]

Mierau SB, Meredith RM, Upton AL, Paulsen O, (2004), Dissociation of experience-dependent and-independent changes in excitatory synaptic transmission during development of barrel cortex, PNAS, 101, 15519-15523. [PMCID: PMC524435]