Areas of investigation/research focus
A major focus of our research is on the investigation of molecular mechanisms underlying disease-associated changes in cellular excitability using transgenic mouse models. We specifically investigate the impact of disease-associated mutations on neuronal ion channels, which cause the so-called ion channel diseases ("channelopathies"). Our research involves the identification and functional characterization of mutations in ion channel genes and the generation of corresponding mouse models. Using these transgenic mice, we study the consequences of reversible functional inactivation or chronic loss of neuronal ion channels by employing a multidimensional strategy that is designed to correlate changes in hippocampal, cortical, and basal ganglia network activities, as well as synaptic plasticity with behavioral responses and cognitive functions. In addition, our research is aimed at testing pharmacological treatments to prevent, attenuate, or normalize the observed changes in network activity and cognitive performance.