Professor, Department of Cell Biology & Anatomy
Cumming School of Medicine
HSC Room 2103
3300 Hospital Drive NW
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1
My research program focuses on three independent but related fields of research that have both basic (curiosity driven) and applied (health sciences) aspects to them: 1) Epilepsy & Seizure Disorders, 2) Stroke Recovery, and 3) The Cellular/Synaptic Basis of Learning & Memory.
Those of us who wish to study the physical instantiation of memory have traditionally employed experimental phenomena that alter synaptic connectivity in a controlled manner and may utilize the identical, or at least similar, mechanisms to memory formation. Thus, one of my main lines of research uses two such phenomena: long-term potentiation (LTP) and long-term depression (LTD).
My work also uses animal models of diseases and syndromes syndromes (vascular insult for stroke and kindling for epilepsy and seizure disorders). I measure animal behaviour using a variety of assessment techniques (e.g. open field, single pellet reaching task, pasta matrix task, elevated plus maze, cylinder task, ladder task). I also use behavioural experience (skilled-reaching, wheel running, enriched environments) to understand how the brain changes. I employ electrophysiological (EEG, evoked potentials, multi- and single-unit activity), and pharmacological (systemic and focal infusions) techniques to elucidate the underlying mechanisms.
In collaboration with a number of colleagues I have also examined alterations in neural and glial cell anatomy at the cellular, ultrastructural and molecular/genetic levels. With respect to microscopy, I examine whole cells stained with Golgi, nuclei stained with toluidine blue, and double fluorescent labelling.
Understanding how seizures and experience change the brain and behaviour.