Dr Adhil Bhagwandin

Dr. Bhagwandin joined the Division of Clinical Anatomy and Biological Anthropology in November 2018. He obtained his PhD in Neuroscience from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg in 2011. He then completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Moscow State University. In 2014, Adhil was an awardee of a Research Career Award from the National Research Foundation (NRF) of South Africa and served the duration of this 5-year award as Senior researcher in the lab of Prof. Paul Manger at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg. Over the past couple of years, Adhil has taught neuroanatomy to medical students, health and rehabilitation students, and undergraduate science students. He has also co-supervised numerous postgraduate student training at the level of Hounors, Masters and PhD.

His research interests are vested in the understanding of comparative neuroanatomy, specifically the neuroanatomy of the sleep-wake system. Adhil typically employs the techniques of electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, and stereology in his line of research. Sleep is a behaviour common to all organisms, yet its function remains a mystery. By understanding how sleep behaviour and the neuroanatomy controlling this behaviour varies across different vertebrates, we can then start to understand the evolution of this common behaviour and possibly begin to infer its function.

During his post graduate training, and apart from his own research, Adhil worked on understanding the neuroanatomy of the brains of various mammals (porcupine, mole rats, cane rats, megabats, microbats, hyraxes, giraffe, etc.). During his postdoctoral fellowships, Adhil had the fortune of working with the semi-aquatic Northern fur seal, whose sleep phenomenology is quite unique in the sense that it shows both bilateral brain activity as well as unihemispheric brain activity during sleep. Adhil also had the pleasure of working with wild free-roaming elephants in Botswana, and wild free-roaming oryx in Saudi Arabia. His involvement with the elephant and oryx research has yielded novel ideas regarding environmental parameters that influence the onset and offset of sleep in mammals.

Adhil wishes to continue his work in comparative sleep research by investigating and understanding the glymphatic system of the vertebrate brain and its relationship to sleep.

Selected Publications

1.    Swigers, J., Bhagwandin, A., Sherwood, CC., Bertelsen, MF., Maseko, BC., Hemingway, J., Rockland, KS., Molnar, Z., Manegr, PR., 2018. The distribution, number, and certain neyrochemical identities of infracortical white matter neurons in a lar gibbon (Hylobates lar) brain. Journal of Comparative Neurology. Doi: 10.1002/cne.24545
2.    Davimes, J.G., Alagaili, A.N., Bhagwandin, A., Bertelsen, M.F., Mohammed, O.B., Bennett, N.C., Manger, P.R., Gravett, N., 2018. Seasonal variations in sleep of free-ranging Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx) under natural hyperarid conditions. Sleep 41. Doi: 10.1093/sleep/zsy038.
3.    Jacobs, B., Garcia, M.E., Shea-Shumsky, N.B., Tennison, M.E., Schall, M., Saviano, M.S., Tummino, T.A., Bull, A.J., Driscoll, L.L., Raghanti, M.A., Lewandowski, A.H., Wicinski, B., Ki Chui, H., Bertelsen, M.F., Walsh, T., Bhagwandin, A., Spocter, M.A., Hof, P.R., Sherwood, C. C., Manger, P.R., 2018. Comparative morphology of gigantopyramidal neurons in primary motor cortex across mammals. Journal of Comparative Neurology 526, 496-536. Doi: 10.1002/cne.24349.
4.    Gravett, N., Bhagwandin, A., Sutcliffe, R., Landen, K., Chase, M.J., Lyamin, O.I., Siegel, J.M., Manger, P.R., 2017. Inactivity/sleep in two wild-free roaming African elephant matriarchs – Does body size make elephants the shortest mammalian sleepers? PLoS One. Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0171903
5.    Bhagwandin, A., Haagensen, M., Manger, P.R., 2017. The brain of the Black (Diceros bicornis) and White (Ceratotherrium simum) African Rhinoceros: Morphology and Volumetrics from Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Frontiers in Neuroanatomy 11, 74. Doi: 10.3389/fnana.2017.00074.
6.    Imam, A., Moyosore, A.S., Bhagwandin, A., Ihunwo, A.O., Manger, P.R., 2017. The brain of the tree pangolin (Manis tricuspis). I. General appearance of the central nervous system. Journal of Comparative Neurology 525, 2571-2582. Doi: 10.1002/cne.24222.
7.    Bhagwandin, A., Gravett, N., Bennett, N.C., Manger, P.R., 2013. Distribution of parvalbumin, calbindin and calretinin containing neurons and terminal networks in relation to sleep associated nuclei in the brain of the giant Zambian mole-rat (Fukomys mechowii). Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy 52, 69-79. doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2013.06.002.
8.    Bhagwandin, A., Gravett, N., Hemingway, J., Oosthuizen, M.K., Bennett, N.C., Siegel, J.M., Manger, P.R., 2011. Orexinergic neuron numbers in three species of African mole rats with rhythmic and arrhythmic chronotypes. Neuroscience 199, 153-65. Doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.10.023.
9.    Bhagwandin, A., Gravett, N., Lyamin, O.I., Oosthuizen, M.K., Bennett, N.C., Siegel, J.M., Manger, P.R, 2011. Sleep and wake in rhythmic versus arrhythmic chronotypes of a microphthalmic species of African mole rat (Fukomys mechowii). Brain Behavior and Evolution 78,162-83. Doi: 10.1159/000330360.
10.    Bhagwandin, A., Fuxe, K., Bennett, N.C., Manger, P.R., 2010. Distribution of orexinergic neurons and their terminal networks in the brains of two species of African mole rats. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy 41, 32-42. Doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2010.11.002.
11.    Bhagwandin, A., Fuxe, K., Bennett, N.C., Manger, P.R., 2008. Nuclear organization and morphology of cholinergic, putative catecholaminergic and serotonergic neurons in the brains of two species of African mole-rat. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy 35, 371-387. Doi: 10.1016/j.jchemneu.2008.02.005.
12.    Bhagwandin, A., Fuxe, K., Manger, P.R., 2006. Choline acetyltransferase immunoreactive cortical interneurons do not occur in all rodents: A study of the phylogenetic occurrence of this neural characteristic. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy 32, 208-216. Doi: 10.1016/j.chemneu.2006.09.004.