PhD studentship in Neuroscience – Exploring chloride regulation and its consequences in neuronal …

Chloride is important because of its role in neural inhibition. It is a negatively charged ion, and for the most important type of synaptic inhibition, it provides the negative signal to neurons. For this to work, however, chloride needs to be kept very low inside neurons. In some situations however, for reasons that remain obscure, chloride can rise, thus compromising synaptic inhibition. This is thought to underlie a number of important neurological conditions, most notably epilepsy. We therefore designed a way to correct this chloride imbalance – the first time this has been possible.Our new technology is a type of optogenetic protein (opsin). Optogenetics is a revolution in progress in neuroscience. It involves introducing into neurons light sensitive proteins that, when illuminated, can directly modulate the neuron’s activity. Because it…


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