Research Fellows Directory
Dr Tatsiana Waseem
University of Oxford
Inhibition in the mammalian brain is generated by GABAergic synaptic transmission. Released from presynaptic terminals, GABA activates postsynaptic chloride-permeable GABA-A receptors that generally result in hyperpolarization of nerve cells and inhibition of neuronal networks. GABA-A receptor dysfunction is associated with a number of neurological diseases, including epilepsy, sleep disorders and schizophrenia. It is therefore of great importance that we generate tools with which to study these receptors in different systems. My current research is focused on the development of a genetically encoded fluorescent reporter, which is designed to provide a direct optical readout of GABA-A receptor activity. To achieve this goal, I am currently focusing my efforts on the characterization of a novel, chimeric protein in which we have inserted the Chloride-Sensor protein (Markova et al., 2008) into the cytoplasmic domain of the alpha1-GABA-A receptor subunit. This tool has the potential to provide direct measurements of GABA-A receptor activation, data on chloride concentration dynamics at GABA-A receptors, and a method to identify active GABAergic synaptic inputs during different forms of neuronal activity.
Interests and expertise (Subject groups)