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 program area 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.