LMH Medicine student, Owen Sweeney, has been awarded the John Potter Prize in Neurology and distinguished at the National Competition for Neuroanatomy.

The John Potter Prize is offered annually and is open to clinical students working in Oxford towards a Bachelor of Medicine. The prize is awarded for an essay on a clinical neurosurgical, neurological or neuropathological topic.

Owen's prize winning paper was titled 'Reading and Writing Neural Code: A burgeoning paradigm shift'.

Owen provided a brief insight into what his essay was about: "Recently, a number of biological, technological, and mathematical advances have greatly improved our understanding of how information is represented in the nervous system. I explore how these advances have developed, focussing on Chemogenetics and Brain-Computer Interfaces - devices that allow brain activity to control computers. I explore how these approaches could be applied clinically, offering potentially restorative treatments for conditions that have previously had poor outcomes or few treatment options, including strokes, visual impairments and a range of psychiatric pathologies."

The National Undergraduate Neuroanatomy Competition (NUNC) is an annual contest open to all medical students in the UK and Ireland. Contestants are tested on their ability to identify structures on anatomical specimens and are questioned on clinical neuroscience knowledge. Owen came in the top 10 clinical students nationally and was awarded a distinction.

Owen said: "I'm feeling delighted about both the prize and the competition, and would like to thank the numerous tutors and friends who have supported and pushed me over my time at LMH."

LMH student Owen Sweeney