Principal Research Associate, Clinical & Experimental Epilepsy, Institute of Neurology
We are interested in how ion channels alter neurological disorders (such as epilepsy and ataxias) and also how neurological disorders alter ion channels. In particular we are interested in how alternative splicing in ion channels changes their behaviour, and how changes caused by splicing may lead to changes in the course and treatment of diseases. Voltage-gated ion channels are often subject to extensive alternative splicing and the functional and neurological impact of changes in this splicing, as well as the factors regulating it are currently largely unknown. In the lab we regularly record from sodium, potassium, calcium and chloride channels. A close collaboration with the Experimental epilepsy group at IoN involved developing viral-mediated expression to permit heterologous expression of ion channels in difficult to transfect cells, and a close collaboration with the MRC-funded Neuromuscular Centre at IoN means we have a regular stream of novel mutations identified in patients to investigate as well as normally occurring splice variants. We have experimented with a variety of model systems, from oocytes to differentiated teratoma cells, and are constantly looking for ways to better reproduce the cellular environments that are relevant for the changes in ion channel behaviour. S.Schorge is funded by a fellowship endowed by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers.