Dr Adam Errington
Telephone:+44(0)29 208 79113
Location:Cardiff School of Biosciences, The Sir Martin Evans Building, Museum Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3AX
Most neurons have complex distinctive dendritic trees that receive the majority of synaptic contacts made onto each cell. Rather than acting as simple conduits conveying synaptic information to the soma, dendrites are actively involved in synaptic integration. This can be achieved by the expression of active dendritic conductances (e.g. voltage gated sodium channels that permit active action potential backpropagation), as well as by non-linear local interactions between synaptic events (e.g. dendritic Ca2+ spikes). Therefore, determining the expression patterns of various ion channels within dendrites is essential for understanding cellular integration. My primary research is focused on understanding the functional roles of thalamic neuron dendrites and how synaptic signalling and integration in the thalamus regulates sensory information flow and processing. To achieve this I use a combination of whole cell patch clamp techniques, 2-photon (2-P) microscopy for subcellular Ca2+ imaging and 2-P multisite neurotransmitter uncaging. My research also focuses on the role of extrasynaptic GABAA receptor signalling in thalamic physiology (i.e. visual processing) and pathophysiology (absence epilepsy). In addition, I am also currently involved in the development of optogenetic techniques (ChR2/NpHR) to study thalamic connectivity both in vitro and in vivo (with Prof. V. Crunelli and Dr H. Chandler).