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X Zhan
H Asmara
G Sahu
J Miclat
C Szalay
B Simms
A Rizwan
B King
S Dykstra
NC Heath
A Kim
D Anderson
T Bartoletti
J Engbers
T Seredynski
H Mehaffey
K Luykenaar
M Iftinca
ML Molineux
F Fernandez
BE McKay
N Lemon
J Bau
R Tadayon-
G Zamponi
P Stys

Ray W Turner  Professor

Hotchkiss Brain Institute
Cell Biology & Anatomy
HRIC 1AA14 University of Calgary
Calgary Alberta Canada T2N 4N1
Phone: 403-220-8452 (Office) -8451 (Lab)
Phone: OADR 403-210-7299
FAX: 403-210-7446

Lab Focus - Ion channel interactions that regulate spike output patterns.

Approach:        Electrophysiology in vitro, immunocytochemistry, protein biochemistry, molecular biology.
Collaborators:  Drs. G.W. Zamponi (Calgary), P. Stys (Calgary)
Funding:          Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Natural Sciences & Engineering (NSERC)


Ion channel interactions.
We examine the nature of interactions between ion channels at the molecular and physiological levels, with an emphasis on channels activated primarily in the subthreshold region. Recent work has focused on the relationship between a low voltage-activated T type calcium channel and Kv4, HCN, BK, and IKCa channels, and their role in controlling the response to synaptic input or the pattern of spike output in cerebellar and hippocampal neurons using a combination of electrophysiology, molecular biology, immunocytochemistry, and optogenetics. With the recognition that IKCa channels are expressed in the CNS, the functional role of this channel type is also being investigated in hippocampal and other central neurons. Contact us to talk about projects available for students to undertake and build on by applying the principles of scientific investigation.

            Some of our recent studies reveal:
    - How a Cav3-Kv4 complex differentially modulates granule cell activity between cerebellar lobules (link)     
    - How T-type channels complex with BK potassium channels to create a microdomain interaction (link)
    - The first demonstration that IKCa potassium channels are expressed in central neurons (link) (link)
    - The molecular basis for the slow AHP in CA1 hippocampal pyramidal cells (link) (link)

Neuroscience Research in Calgary

Why enter graduate studies in our lab? We use the latest of patch clamp recording techniques in in vitro slice preparations and heterologous expression systems to understand how ion channels control neuronal activity. We are active collaborators, with joint operating grants with Dr. G.W. Zamponi, increasing the opportunities for cross training in protein biochemistry and molecular biological aspects of neuroscience. We actively pursue the latest techniques, with recent incorporation of dynamic clamp, optogenetic stimulation, and creation of new transgenic mouse species. As a result, students are productive, with past and present students publishing several manuscripts in MSc or PhD programs, making them highly competitive in winning external awards for additional salary support, and a strong basis to proceed to postgraduate research. Students are encouraged to collaborate and attend meetings and Special Courses, with an emphasis on developing their respective skills and to provide training in what it takes to make it in a research career.

Brain Institute. Research is carried out in the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, with over 150 principal researchers and over 100 trainees in close proximity in the Faculty of Medicine to promote collaborative opportunities. Calgary is a modern city with a population of just over 1 million and represents the center of the oil industry in Canada. The University of Calgary has over 25,000 students and many unique facilities built for the 1998 Calgary Winter Olympics.

Training Program. Students enroll in MSc or PhD programs in the Department of Neuroscience, with minimal course work in order to increase time for research. The minimum requirement is a GPA of at least 3.2/4.0 in the last 20 courses of a degree program. Postdoctoral trainees benefit from an active set of Journal Clubs and a weekly seminar program featuring expert speakers from around the world, a REALISE program to develop teaching and career opportunities, and a Postdoctoral Assocation to promote sharing of experience and acquisition of skills relevant to securing jobs.
      Just contact Ray Turner directly, or contact lab members for an independent assessment of the research and training environment.

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