My interests span the
fundamental mechanisms of synaptic transmission, the computational properties
of small neuronal circuits, and alterations in neuronal and circuit
excitability in epilepsy and other neurological disorders. The core methods in
my lab are in vitro electrophysiology and pharmacology, but we also apply
confocal and two-photon laser scanning microscopy, computational simulations,
molecular genetic methods, and heterologous expression of mutated ion channels.
My laboratory has contributed to the discovery
of silent synapses, glutamate spillover, presynaptic GABAA receptors in the
cortex, human epilepsy caused by K+ and Ca2+ channel
mutations, tonic inhibition in the hippocampus, and Hebbian and anti-Hebbian
LTP in hippocampal interneurons.
One of our goals is to understand how phenomena that we have studied at the cellular level (synaptic, extra-synaptic and non-synaptic signalling, different types of long-term potentiation) interact to regulate the excitability of small neuronal circuits. We are also integrating our studies on hippocampal circuit function with knowledge of how interneurons and principal cells fire during different behaviours. This is being approached with a synthesis of experiments and computational simulations. We also aim to apply our recent insights into the cellular consequences of inherited mutations of ion channels (channelopathies) to develop new ways to diagnose and treat neurological diseases.
Role in the Synaptopathies Initiative
I am the lead PI of the Synaptopathies Initiative and aim to understand the consequences of defects in synaptic proteins for the function of neuronal circuits.