Dr Colin Akerman
Synaptic circuit development and plasticity
Dr Akerman’s group are examining how intercellular signalling events regulate neural circuit formation and plasticity. The group’s work combine electrophysiological assessment of synaptic transmission, single and multi-photon confocal imaging of neurons, and molecular biology techniques to both observe and manipulate synaptic circuit development and plasticity.
The group is exploring three areas:
- Activity-dependent plasticity mechanisms.
- Synaptic transmission in the developing brain.
- The integration of synaptic excitation and inhibition in development and epilepsy.
Sources of Funding
Dr Akerman joined the Department from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York. While there, he used a combination of molecular, electrophysiological and optical techniques to investigate how glutamatergic and GABAergic synaptic transmission interact during neural circuit formation and plasticity. This multidisciplinary approach underpins the work in Dr Akerman’s own lab. Dr. Akerman holds Masters degrees in Psychology (Edinburgh) and Neuroscience (Oxford). He conducted his doctoral studies in the Department of Physiology, Oxford, where he worked with Professor Ian Thompson on the role of early synaptic activity in the development of the mammalian thalamus and cortex. Following the completion of his PhD in 2001, Dr Akerman was awarded a Wellcome Trust Travelling Fellowship which he held in the laboratory of Professor Holly Cline. In 2005 he returned to Oxford and was selected to hold a RCUK Fellowship. He started his own lab in 2007 and was appointed as a University Lecturer in 2010.
- Dr Tommas Ellender, Postdoctoral Research Fellow , University of Oxford
- Dr Leah Herrgen, Postdoctoral Research Fellow , University of Oxford
- Dr Louise Kay, Postdoctoral Research Fellow , University of Oxford
- Dr Timothy Lillicrap, Postdoctoral Research Fellow , University of Oxford
- Andrei-Sorin Ilie, DPhil Student , University of Oxford
- Joram van Rheede, DPhil Student , University of Oxford
- Alistair Muldal, DPhil Student , University of Oxford
- Adenosine release during seizures attenuates GABAA receptor-mediated depolarization.
- Ilie, A, Raimondo, JV, and Akerman, CJ
J Neurosci, 32(15):5321-32.
- Genetically encoded proton sensors reveal activity-dependent pH changes in neurons.
- Raimondo, JV, Irkle, A, Wefelmeyer, W, Newey, SE, and Akerman, CJ
Front Mol Neurosci, 5:68.
- Optogenetic silencing strategies differ in their effects on inhibitory synaptic transmission.
- Raimondo, JV, Kay, L, Ellender, TJ, and Akerman, CJ
Nat Neurosci, 15(8):1102-4.
- Short-term ionic plasticity at GABAergic synapses.
- Raimondo, JV, Markram, H, and Akerman, CJ
Front Synaptic Neurosci, 4:5.
- Spatial and temporal dynamics in the ionic driving force for GABA(A) receptors.
- Wright, R, Raimondo, JV, and Akerman, CJ
Neural Plast, 2011:728395.
- GABAergic circuits control stimulus-instructed receptive field development in the optic tectum.
- Richards, BA, Voss, OP, and Akerman, CJ
Nat Neurosci, 13(9):1098-106.
- In vivo spike-timing-dependent plasticity in the optic tectum of Xenopus laevis.
- Richards, BA, Aizenman, CD, and Akerman, CJ
Front Synaptic Neurosci, 2:7.