Pacemaker channels and brain excitability

Research Opportunity
PhD students, Masters by Research
Department / Centre
Royal Melbourne Hospital
Primary Supervisor Email Number Webpage
A/Prof Christopher Reid 0390356372 Personal web page
Co-supervisor Email Number Webpage
Dr Paulo Pinares-Garcia
Dr Ming So

Summary Pacemaker channels in the brain are important for normal function. In this project we use optogenic tools to better understand what they do in the brain

Project Details

The brain is an intricate electrical machine that needs to be nimble enough to adapt quickly to information but can’t be too unstable for risk of having seizures. A range of different ion channels work in concert to keep this balance. One such type of channel is the HCN channel that passes a pacemaker current. These channels are important for a range of brain functions that include learning and memory, fear and sleep. Dysfunction in these channels can also cause disease including epilepsy, mood disturbances and cognitive decline. Knowing how these channels control neuron excitability is therefore central to our understanding of the working and pathological brain. The laboratory has just acquired a Polygon light stimulator that can precisely pattern light allowing the interrogation of neuron and synaptic function. In this project the student will use this equipment in combination with state of the art molecular and optogenetic techniques to better understand how HCN channels work in a normal brain.

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry

Research Opportunities

PhD students, Masters by Research
Students who are interested in joining this project will need to consider their elegibility as well as other requirements before contacting the supervisor of this research

Graduate Research application

Honours application

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact a supervisor.

Department / Centre


Research Node

Royal Melbourne Hospital

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