This application requests renewed support for an institutional postdoctoral training program in epilepsy and neuroscience that will allow faculty in the Departments of Biological Sciences, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Comparative Medicine, Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Neurobiology, and Psychiatry at Stanford University to attract fellows to careers in research areas ultimately relevant to the problems of epilepsy in man. The faculties employ the methods of cellular neurophysiology and biophysics, live imaging, biochemistry, molecular biology, neuroanatomy, neuropharmacology, and the use of animal model systems for studies of normal and abnormal structure/function. Faculty research interests include cortical neuronal and glial development;physiological and morphological changes in nerve cells and circuits in animal models of chronic neocortical and hippocampal epileptogenesis;effects of drugs and transmitters on neurons and network activity in cortex and thalamus;development, organization, and synaptic physiology of the CNS, especially neocortex and hippocampus;cellular and molecular aspects of long-term changes in neuronal excitability;and the roles of gene structure, expression and modulation on neuronal function. Trainees may learn techniques of neurophysiology and neuropharmacology applied to neurons in slices or cultures, including patch-clamp methods for biophysical studies and assessment of transmitter actions;use of in vivo and in vitro animal models of epileptogenesis;anatomic techniques for intracellular labeling, immunocytochemistry and in situ hybridization;cell culture;molecular techniques including gene isolation and cloning, site directed mutagenesis;clonal analysis;cell transplantation;experimental gene therapy;and use of transgenic animals. A variety of available courses and seminars contribute to the breadth of research training. Participation of clinical department faculty fosters effective research interactions between MD and PhD trainees and a focus on the interface between basic neuroscience and clinical issues requiring investigation. The positions are advertised nationally and applicants solicited in accord with, and in the spirit of recruiting individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Project Narrative: The proposed training is designed to prepare future leaders in the field of Epilepsy Research. It will take place in laboratories of faculty within the Departments of Biology, Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Comparative Medicine, Neurobiology, Neurology and Psychiatry at Stanford University. Trainees will have broad exposure to relevant and timely issues including problems of epilepsy in man and application of modern neuroscience methods towards understanding seizures and development of new treatments.
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