Genetic studies have revealed that many susceptibility genes for the epilepsies encode ion channels, including voltage-gated sodium, potassium and calcium channels. Such so-called ion channelopathies might be caused by 1) mutations (genetic epilepsies) or by 2) expression changes (acquired epilepsies). In our group, we analyze how expression changes in ion channel genes are induced and how we can modulate/antagonize such channelopathies.
Viral delivery systems, including Adeno-Associated Viruses and Lentiviruses, are valuable tools for neuroscience research, including epilepsy research. In this project, we design, produce and test viral systems to learn how we can use such approaches for the diagnosis and treatment of epilepsy. By applying such viral systems to organotypic brain slice cultures, we can analyze the molecular and electrophysiological properties at the single cell and at the small network level in mouse and human brain tissue.