Brain function depends on the co-ordinated electrical and chemical activity of the millions of neurons, glia and synapses which constitute this amazing but complex organ. Our lab investigates the physiological properties of the receptors, channels and transporters that determine this brain activity, and how this changes in diseases. Our lab uses in vivo and in vitro electrophysiological recording techniques to quantify brain function from the circuit level through to the individual cells and molecules, complemented by live cell imaging, cell culture, and histological approaches.
Our current focus is on epilepsy, a disorder of neuronal excitability that affects 1-2% of the world’s population and up to about 400,000 Australians at some time in their life. Temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE) results from a precipitating brain trauma and is resistant to drug treatment. We are investigating the changes in neuronal inhibition in TLE in the hope of developing new therapeutic strategies to mitigate against the seizures that characterise this disease.