Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Jennifer Tulip

Research Associate

Background

I have worked as part of Dr Andrew Jackson's research group as a Research Assistant since June 2009, after graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Physiology from Newcastle University.  After an initial emphasis on upper limb motor neuroscience research, I soon began to shift my focus onto an area of research which I am very passionate about; animal behaviour and welfare.

Over the years I have attended and presented at many seminars and conferences which focus on meeting the behavioural needs and improving the welfare status of captive non-human primates.  I have attended animal training workshops to ensure that my training techniques and skills are fully up to date with current standards and best practices.  I am also part of the Comparative Biology Centre (CBC) training team, where I deliver talks, seminars and workshops on primate behaviour, welfare and training to Newcastle University's staff and students.  

In 2015 I was awarded an MPhil in Neuroscience, Animal Behaviour and Welfare, entitled "Assessing the 3Rs value of automated positive reinforcement training for laboratory non-human primates".  The project investigated the use of an automated positive reinforcement system (a button-press task and fluid reward dispenser) for captive NHPs and the potential implications for welfare assessment, positive reinforcement training and environmental enrichment.

In addition to pursuing my own research interests, I am involved in ongoing motor neuroscience research projects within the Jackson Lab research group, which currently focus on neuromotor prostheses for the upper limb, and brain rhythms during sleep.  In 2016 I began working on a collaborative project, funded by the National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research (NC3Rs), on Improving biological integration of osseous and dermal tissues in macaque cranial implants.  


My interests include:

  • NHP behaviour, welfare and care
  • Positive Reinforcement Training
  • Human-NHP interactions


Research

Current Research:

I am a member of the JacksonLab research group within the Institute of Neuroscience, and I am involved in the following projects:


Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Positive Reinforcement Training

Assessing the 3Rs value of automated positive reinforcement training for laboratory non-human primates.

Funded by: National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of animals in research (NC3Rs)


Neuromotor prostheses for the upper limb

We are developing a neural prosthesis to restore hand function following spinal cord injury and stroke. Our work addresses three of the key challenges facing the development of implantable neural prosthetics: miniaturisation of low-power implantable electronics; recording of stable control signals from the brain; and reliable stimulation of the spinal cord.

Funded by: Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council (MRC)


Brain rhythms during sleep

The brain is highly active during sleep, but the role of this activity is poorly understood. We are using an electronic device to collect electrophysiological data for long periods of time (including overnight during natural sleep) to provide further insight into the role of rhythmic activity during sleep.

Funded by: Wellcome Trust, EPSRC


Improving biological integration of osseous and dermal tissues in macaque cranial implants

Empirically, we will assess dermal integration of different cranial implant designs and materials in ~32 animals, all with either an added perforated flange or increased porosity. Using clinical, microbiological, and histopathological data we will compare implant integration and wound margin closure against our large sample of previous implants. We predict that overall dermal and osseous integration rate will be increased and infection rates will be reduced. This refinement will lead to significant increases in animal welfare, and reduce the number of animals used by improving data quality and quantity from individual subjects.  

Funded by: National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of animals in research (NC3Rs) 


Publications