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Research groups

Istvan Lukacs

DPhil Student

Research

My current research focuses the regulation GABAergic synaptic neurotransmission among different types of interneuron of the human neocortex. I am performing whole cell patch clamp recording and labelling of pairs of synaptically connected neurons in acute cortical slices obtained from oncological  and epileptic patients who undergo neurosurgery. I am testing whether activation of different subtypes of metabotropic glutamate receptor modulate GABAergic synaptic transmission in a cell type-specific manner. I am identifying the recorded and labelled neurons by studying the distribution of their axon and their synaptic targets and by immunohistochemical testing of the subcellular compartment-specific expression of various molecules, such as receptors, enzymes, and neuropeptides.

I have a general interest in what are the neuronal and synaptic bases of complex network activity in the brain and what are the particularities of the human brain that make it different from other species.

I have experience in whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology, pharmacology, signal analysis, immunohistochemistry, fluorescent and electron microscopy.

Background

I graduated from the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Targu Mures, Romania, where I did research on the cellular alterations in temporal lobe epilepsy. During my undergraduate studies, I spent several summer internships in the laboratory of Professor Somogyi at the University of Oxford, where I studied GABAergic cell types of the hippocampus recorded and labelled in behaving rodents. I also studied pathological alterations in the cerebellum of a mouse model of human tauopathy. During this time I learned immunohistochemistry, fluorescent and electron microscopy. After graduation I applied for the Four Year Doctoral Programme in Neuroscience at the University of Oxford, where I am studying since.