overview

 Our brains use a combination of electrical and chemical signalling to transmit information through neural circuits. This enables neuronal networks to code, process, store and recall information. Research in my laboratory has focused on understanding basic aspects of synaptic signalling and neuronal function both in the normal nervous system and in the diseased brain. We are particularly interested in function / dysfunction at the neuronal network level as well as those activity-dependent plasticity processes whose dysfunction can lead to the impaired cognitive function and intellectual disability.

 

Most cortical brain structures such as the neocortex and hippocampus contain a network of excitatory and inhibitory neurons that are in turn influenced by complex array or neuromodulators. Using electrophysiological, anatomical and molecular techniques we hope to gain insight into the activity dependent regulation of synaptic signalling under both physiological and pathophysiological conditions. It is our hope that by understanding the basic mechanisms underlying synaptic transmission onto specific targets, we can begin to elucidate the roles played by the various neuronal and non-neuronal elements in specific clinically relevant disorders. In terms of network dysfunction, we have particular interested in epilepsy.

 

A major focus of the laboratory is directed towards the genetic disorder Rett Syndrome. We are interested in neurobiology or MECP2 (the gene affected in the disorder) as well as developing novel therapies for the disorder. More information on Rett Syndrome can be found here

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