Physiology and Biophysics

Nick Poolos M.D., Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor (with Neurology)

M.D., Ph.D. Neuroscience
Stanford, 1991

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Physiology of Neuronal Dendrites

We're interested in the neurophysiology of hippocampal and neocortical pyramidal neurons, and in particular the physiology of these neurons' dendrites. While in the past neuronal dendrites have been inaccessible to detailed electrophysiological analysis because of their small size, recent technological advances have allowed us to study the electrical and biophysical properties of dendrites. The ability to study dendrites has opened up exciting new areas of research in neurophysiology.

Our research at present centers on the properties of dendrites both under normal conditions and in human diseases such as epilepsy. We are interested in voltage-gated ion channels in hippocampal pyramidal neuron dendrites, how they are distributed and modulated in normal neurons, and how their aberrant properties may contribute to diseases such as temporal lobe epilepsy. The techniques in use in the lab include: IR and fluorescence imaging of neurons in the brain slice preparation, whole-cell and cell-attached patch clamping of neuronal dendrites, animal models of acquired temporal lobe epilepsy, and cellular histology techniques. We're always looking for individuals interested in our research who would like to join our lab. Feel free to contact us.