Professor of Neurology, Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy
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 signaling, 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 behaviors. 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.