Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My work deals with regulation of excitability in neurons of mammalian cerebral cortex and thalamus and mechanisms underlying development of epilepsy. Long-term goals are to understand how injury produces changes in structure and function of neurons and neuronal networks that lead to hyperexcitability and epileptogenesis, and approaches to prevention of epilepsy after cortical injury. Areas of interest include regulation of voltage dependent membrane properties, neuropharmacology of transmitters and modulators including neuropeptides, synaptic mechanisms, and intrinsic properties of single, anatomically identified neurons. Techniques include use of in vivo mammalian preparations as well as in vitro slices and acutely dissociated neurons for recordings of synaptic activities and membrane properties, using patch-clamp techniques to study whole cell currents and membrane channels. Electrophysiological approaches are combined with intracellular labeling and immunocytochemistry to identify types of neurons and responses to injury.
Current studies include:
i) Reorganization of neocortical neuronal synaptic activities,and intrinsic neuronal properties after cortical trauma.
ii) Electrophysiologic and neuroanatomic studies of axonal sprouting following chronic neocortical injury.
iii) Anatomy and pathophysiology of neocortical developmental malformations.
iv) Effects of neuropeptides and GABAergic inhibition on intrinsic, synaptic and network properties of thalamic neurons; and generation of normal and pathophysiologic rhythms.
v) Modulation of neocortical inhibitory interneuronal activities by neurotransmitters and injury.