Nora | Doctor in neurophysiology

Curriculum vitæ

Didcot, United Kingdom
Nora @ bourbia . eu

Currently I am a postdoc fellow at the MRC Harwell (UK) in Pat Nolan’s team in neurobehavioural genetics.

Academic education

2015: PhD in neurophysiology of pain at university of Helsinki (Finland). Title: Central nucleus of the amygdala in descending control of pain-related behavior.
2009: Master’s degree in cellular and integrative neurosciences (distinction: “assez bien”) at University of Strasbourg (France).
2007: Bachelor’s degree in Physiology and cellular biology at Louis Pasteur University in Strasbourg (France). 


  • Research project managing: Literature review, hypothesis and protocols designing, collecting and analysing data
  • Technical skills: Behavioral assessment of rodents, electrophysiology, histology
  • Teaching

Doctoral Thesis

  • Title: Central nucleus of the amygdala in descending control of pain-related behavior. Supervisor: Antti Pertovaara.
  • Research project managing
  • Surgery: Spared nerve injury and intracerebral placement of guide cannulae
  • Behavioral studies: Sensory-discriminative and emotional aspect of pain; Motor coordination test
  • Electrophysiology : Extracellular recording with Spike 2 software
  • Data and statistics analysis with Graphpad Prism software

Research internships

January-May 2009 – Department of physiology; University of Helsinki – Supervisor: Antti Pertovaara Topic of research: Involvement of CRF-BP in amygdala on pain.

  • Surgery: Spared nerve injury and intracerebral placement of guide cannulae
  • Behavioral tests: Von Frey filament test and place avoidance paradigm test
  • Electrophysiology: Extracellular recording
  • Data and statistics analysis

June-July 2008 – Department of nociception and pain; University of Strasbourg – Supervisor: Pierre Veinante Topic of research: Neuroanatomy of amygdala.

  • Drugs injection by Hamilton syringe and iontophoresis
  • Histochemistry and Immunochemistry

June – July 2006 – Institute of primatology in Strasbourg – Supervisor : Bernard Thierry Topic of research: Exchange capacity between primate and human beings.

  • Training Macaca Fascicularis to exchange an object for food and then food for food
  • Protocol: Measure waiting time to exchange their usual food for sweets

Scientific publications in refereed journals

  • Sagalajev B, Bourbia N (share the first-authorship), Beloushko E, Wei H, Pertovaara A, Bidirectional amygdaloid control of neuropathic hypersensitivity mediated by descending serotonergic pathways acting on spinal 5-HT3 and 5-HT1A receptors., Behav Brain Res. 2014 Dec 31;282:14-24.
  • Bourbia N., Sagalajev B., Pertovaara A., Descending effect on spinal nociception by amygdaloid glutamate varies with the submodality of noxious test stimulation, Neuroscience Letters. 570 (2014) 26–31
  • Bourbia N., Ansah OB., Pertovaara A., Corticotropin-releasing factor in the rat amygdala differentially influences sensorydiscriminative and emotional-like pain response in peripheral neuropathy, J Pain. 2010 Dec;11(12):1461-71.
  • Ansah OB., Bourbia N., Goncalves L., Almeida A., Pertovaara A., Influence of amygdaloid glutamatergic receptors on sensory and emotional pain-related behavior in the neuropathic rat, Behav Brain Res. 2010 May 1;209(1):174-8.

Short review

  • Bourbia N., Pertovaara A., Is finding the common biological link(s) between pain and affect an infinity quest? Scand J Pain. 2011 doi: 10.1016/j.sjpain.2011.05.001.


  • Gonçalves L., Bourbia N., Viisanen H., Ansah O.B., Almeida A., Pertovaara A., Amygdala in the control of neuropathic pain, 4th International Congress on Neuropathic Pain (May 23-26, 2013, Toronto, Canada, pages 53-57). Medimond, International Proceedings Division.

Oral presentations

  • Joint meeting of the Federation of the European physiological societies (FEPS) and European Young Physiologist Symposium (EYPS), Budapest (Hungary), 27-30 august 2014. FEPS Award for young investigators.
  • European Pain School 2011: Bridging molecules and mind, Siena (Italy), 11-19 June 2011.

Poster presentations

  • Brain and Mind (B&M) Symposium 2014, Kirkkonummi (Finland), 11-12 September 2014.
  • Annual conference of the Scandinavian Physiological Society, Stockholm (Sweden), 22-24 August 2014.
  • Joint Meeting of the Scandinavian and German Physiological Societies, Copenhagen (Danemark), 27-30 March 2010.
  • 7th Forum of European Neurosciences (FENS), Amsterdam (Netherlands), 3-7 July 2010.


  • Federation of the European physiological societies (FEPS) Award for young investigators, 27 august 2014


  • Finnish cultural foundation, 22000 euros / year, 2013 and 2014
  • Emil Aaltosen säätiö, 20000 euros, 2012
  • Yrjö ja Tuulikki Ilvosen rahasto, 12000 euros, 2011
  • CIMO Scholarship, 43000 euros, 2010 and 2011
  • Chancellor’s (University of Helsinki) travel grant, 800 euros / travel, 2010, 2011 and 2014


Problem-based learning teacher to students to students in Master’s Degree in Translational Medicine (TRANSMED) at university of Helsinki. Topic : Urinary physiology ; year : 2014 and 2015.


French (mother tongue), fluent in English and basics in Finnish.


  • Sport : Green belt in Haidong-Gumdo
  • Crochet, scalemail weaving and sewing : Currently I am learning to sew Victorian corset and crafting scalemail armor parts. All of my craft projects can be found on my blog (FR)
  • Stargazer with a reflector telescope dobsonien Skywatcher Skyliner 20/1200 and a refractor telescope Skywatcher Evostar-90 on EQ-2 mount
  • Robotics : My current project is to build a “Dalek” which says “exterminate” when it detects a motion. Here a video of the 1st part of the projet : “Motion and Exterminate
  • Reading : mainly science-fiction
  • Science lover : I am interested in all science fields from astronomy to zoology. I also do popular science podcasts (FR)
  • Chili growing in various hydroponic systems
  • Amateur photography : I am a beginner and my photoblog is
  • Music : Playing mainly bass and drums, also guitar and violin
  • Board/Video game player : I play different types of games with a preference to civilization and 4X simulations ; FPS and player-cooperation / teamwork action games ; Point’n’Click adventure games


  • B category driving licenses
  • C-category (scientist) competence to work with laboratory animals according to EU Directive’s (2010/63/EU): rodents and fishes