Cellular neuroscience bridges the gap between the function of individual molecules and the behaviour of entire assemblies of neurons that carry out higher level functions such as the visual system or motor system.
Nerve and glial cells process information received by the
senses to analyse what is going on in the environment, they store
information so that it can be retrieved later to guide future actions,
and they send signals to the muscles to allow us to move, speak and
interact with others. Defects in cellular processes cause brain
disorders such as cancer, epilepsy, depression and schizophrenia.
has many outstanding cellular neuroscience researchers working at
locations across campus, including the new £9m Andrew Huxley building
for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience. UCL researchers use a wide
range of techniques including patch-clamping to study electrical
signals from cells; biochemistry to study intracellular signalling
pathways; calcium imaging to determine how neurotransmitters regulate
intracellular processes; molecular biology to probe the contributions
of genes and molecular properties to cell function; and confocal and
2-photon imaging to study both the location of proteins within cells
and the properties of nerve cells deep within the brain.
this work include detailed studies of how the nervous system develops;
how the gaseous messenger nitric oxide contributes to synaptic
plasticity and to cell death in stroke; how neurotransmitter signalling
affects nerve and glial cell function both normally and in conditions
like cerebral palsy and spinal cord injury; how neuronal dendrites
carry out computations; and how the blood supply to the brain is