telephone: +44 (0) 121 204 4049
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Aston Research Centre for Healthy Ageing (ARCHA)
PH1401 (Module coordinator): Neuronal excitability, cardiovascular physiology, endocrinology, brain anatomy, respiration and blood pressure practical classes.
PH2501: Anaemia, haemostasis, inotropy, vasodilators.
PH3601: Dementia, affective disorders, Stroke.
PHM016-PHM025: Cardiovascular, Calcium signaling, VGCCs.
Pharmacy Programme First year Tutor
Member of the Neurophysiology & Clinical Neuroimaging Research Group
In recent years it has become clear that in addition to their traditional roles as “housekeepers” of the brain’s environment, astrocytes can also signal to neurones using many of the mechanisms previously thought exclusive to neuronal transmission. The release of such transmitters as glutamate and ATP can elicit and affect neuronal excitability and modulate synaptic transmission.
The focus of my research is on the mechanisms of astrocyte-neuron signalling in the thalamus, and how such signalling is involved in thalamic function. The techniques used are combined electrophysiological recording and Calcium imaging.
Movie 1. Monochrome movie of spontaneous astrocytic calcium elevations in a VB thalamus slice. Slices are loaded with Fluo-4AM, an dimaged using a Cairn Optoscan monochromator and Hamamatsu Orca ER camera operated with Compix Simple PCI software. Images taken every 5s.
Movie 2. Pseudocolour movie showing a patch clamped astrocyte in a VB thalamus slice filled with Fluo-4 and imaged with a Noran Odyssey confocal microscope. Stimulation of the sensory but not of the cortical afferents results in a [Ca2+]i elevation in a process located on the left side of the astrocytic soma, which then propagates to the soma and throughout the other visible astrocytic processes. Images were acquired at 1Hz.
Movie 3. VB thalamus slice loaded with 1mM SR101. Movie shows Z-series revealing astrocytic morphology and processes within the slice.
Research in the laboratory is supported by The BBSRC, NC3Rs and Alzheimer's Research UK.
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