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Channels, Synapses and Neural Circuits

Channels, synapses, and neural circuits are fundamental structural and functional elements of the nervous system. Detailed and integrated knowledge of these elements is essential for understanding how the nervous system works under normal and abnormal conditions. In recent years, remarkable progress and exciting discoveries have been made in the basic research in these areas; only few of them, however, have been directly connected to mechanisms underlying the causes of numerous neurological disorders. The major goals of our program are 1) to continue to support the ongoing basic and clinical research; 2) to foster research on particular channels, synapses, and neural circuits that have immediate medical relevance; and 3) encourage translational research that links the discoveries from basic research into medication development and therapeutic interventions for treating neurological disorders, such as epilepsy. Topics of research supported by the Channels, Synapses, and Neural Circuits cluster include neural circuit analysis, synaptic transmission, synaptic plasticity, structural analysis of neuronal membrane proteins, channelopathies, and epilepsy.  The cluster supports basic and translational research, as well as clinical trials, and facilitates multidisciplinary collaborations.

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Channels, Synapses, and Neural Circuits Funding Initiatives

There are several NINDS Funding Initiatives that may be of interest to the epilepsy research community.

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for the NINDS Epilepsy Centers without Walls Program on Disease Modification or Prevention (U54)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Contact: Brandy Fureman, PhD

Centers Without Walls for Collaborative Research in the Epilepsies: Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) (U01)
Release Date: 2013-09-20, Contact: Vicky Whittemore, Ph.D., [ (U01) RFA-NS-14-004 ]


Channels, Synapses, and Neural Circuits Program Staff

Scientific StaffResearch Area
Brandy Fureman, Ph.D.
Program Director
Shai Silberberg, Ph.D.
Program Director
Molecular structure and function of ion channels and transporters
Randall Stewart, Ph.D.
Program Director
Basic mechanisms of epilepsy and epileptogenesis, channelopathies, SBIR, STTR
Edmund Talley, Ph.D.
Program Director
Synaptic transmission and neuromodulation
Vicky Whittemore, Ph.D.
Program Director
Basic mechanisms of epilepsy
Miriam Leenders, Ph.D.
Program Analyst
Liz Webber, Ph.D.
Program Analyst


Channels, Synapses and Neural Circuits
Neuroscience Center
6001 Executive Blvd
Bethesda, Maryland 20892
Call: (301) 496-1917