UCL Division of Biosciences


Wilkie Lecture: Professor Leonard Kaczmarek, Yale University School of Medicine

13 March 2023, 1:00 pm–2:00 pm

Professor Leonard Kaczmarek

Title: Unexpected Roles for Potassium Channels in Synaptic Transmission, Intellectual Ability and Neurological Disease

Event Information

Open to

UCL staff | UCL students | UCL alumni




Charlette Bent-Gayle


G04 Gavin de Beer LT
Medical Sciences and Anatomy
Gower Street

Academic Host: Jonathan Ashmore

Abstract: Research in the Kaczmarek laboratory is aimed at understanding the nature of the biochemical changes that occur in neurons and that result in prolonged changes in the behavior of an animal or in its ability to detect specific patterns of sensory inputs.  Among the channels that our group cloned and characterized is the Kv3.1b channel, which is required for high-frequency firing in many neurons and the Slack and Slick genes that underlie Na+-activated K+ channels. The laboratory was the first to show directly that rapid changes in the phosphorylation state of ion channels and in the synthesis of new channels occur in vivo in response to changes in an animal’s environment. Most recently, we have found that the Slack protein interacts with the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein FMRP and that human mutations in Slack produce very severe epilepsy and developmental delay.

About the Speaker

Professor Leonard Kaczmarek

Professor of Pharmacology and of Cellular and Molecular Physiology at Yale University School of Medicine

More about Professor Leonard Kaczmarek