Sponsors logoOur work is currently funded by the Wellcome Trust (Wellcome Trust Strategic Award: Defining Endophenotypes From Integrated Neurosciences – DEFINE), the MRC (MRC project grant: A Stem Cell Model to Study Human Cortical Interneuron Function) and the Jane Hodge Foundation (Jane Hodge Foundation Neuroscience Research Fellowship). Previous funding was obtained from the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute.

Prof. Meng Li, Cardiff University

In collaboration with Prof. Meng Li we have recently been awarded an MRC project grant to study the generation of genetically and phenotypically specified human interneurons from stem cells. We will develop new optogenetic tools and cellular models to characterise dysfunction of these neurons in neuropsychiatric diseases. My lab will oversee the electrophysiological characterisation of the newly derived cells that are generated by Prof. Li’s group.

Dr William M Connelly,  Australian National University

Previous work with Dr Connelly used somatodendritic patch clamp recordings to produce a detailed compartmental model of the thalamocortical neuron and to investigate the mechanism underlying low-threshold spike generation and dendritic integration of cortical feedback in thalamocortical neurons.

Prof. Vincenzo Crunelli, Cardiff University

With Prof. Crunelli we are investigating the mechanisms underlying high-threshold bursting in thalamocortical neurons and their involvement in sensory processing and oscillations in the thalamus. We also work together on studying the role of extrasynaptic GABAa receptors in thalamic physiology and pathophysiology. With Prof. Giuseppe DiGiovanni (University of Malta) we have recently co-edited the first textbook covering the field of extrasynaptic GABAa receptors and tonic inhibition.

DEFINE (Defining Endophenotypes From Integrated Neurosciences)

This project is funded by a Wellcome Trust Strategic Award and aims to bring together scientists across disciplines to study the mechanisms underlying neuropsychiatric disease. Psychiatric disorders have a major public health impact in the UK affecting up to 16.7 million people with an estimated economic cost of £77bn. This program, led by Prof. Michael Owen, will use a range of genetic, molecular biological, imaging, behavioural and electrophysiological techniques to study cells, circuits, animals and patients carrying known neuropsychiatric disease risk genes to determine links between these genes and abnormalities in neuronal circuits and behaviour. My role in this project is the supervision of cellular electrophysiological and imaging experiments to determine the role that risk genes play in altering intrinsic and synaptic properties of diverse cells within the brain. This work will be carried out by Dr. Michael Laing and Dr. Adam Ranson.