Prof. Vincenzo Crunelli
Based at the Neuroscience Group, School of Biosciences
Brain oscillations, sleep, absence epilepsy, astrocyte-neuron signalling
Research Interests and Facilities
Well-characterized EEG oscillations and rhythms are key to a healthy physiological state and their pathological alterations are associated with many neurological syndromes. I am interested in the cellular and network mechanisms that underlie some of the brain oscillations that are generated in the thalamus and cortex during sleep and in absence epilepsy. Recently, we also developed an interest in the mechanisms involved in oscillations linked to astrocyte-neuron signalling.
My multi-disciplinary laboratory is equipped with: six electrophysiological stations (three for patch- and three for sharp-electrode recordings), one confocal microscope with in vitro patch-electrode recording facilities, one 2-photon laser scanning microscope with in vivo and in vitro patch- and sharp-electrode recording facilities, a dedicated suite for in vivo electrical recordings and localized drug application in freely moving animals, a dedicated cluster of 11 dual-processor nodes for computer simulations, and facilities for post-hoc morphological and immunocytochemical analysis of neurons and astrocytes.
Available PhD Projects
- Electrophysiological and Ca2+ imaging analysis of dendritic signalling during the UP state of the slow sleep oscillation
- Role of the slow sleep oscillation in synaptic strengthening and memory consolidation
- Network dynamics in the cortical initiation site of absence seizures in monogenic and polygenic models of absence epilepsy
- Role of astrocyte-neuron signalling in different sleep stages
- Parri, H.R., Gould, T.M. and Crunelli, V. (2001). Spontaneous astrocytic Ca2+ oscillations in situdriveNMDAR-mediated neuronal excitation. Nature Neurosci., 4, 803-812.
- Hughes, S.W., Cope, D.W., Blethyn, K.L. and Crunelli V. (2002). Cellular mechanisms of the slow (<1Hz) oscillation in thalamocortical neurons in vitro. Neuron, 33, 947-958.
- Crunelli, V. and Leresche, N. (2002). Childhood absence epilepsy: genes, channels, neurons and networks. Nat. Rev. Neurosci., 3, 371-382.
- Cope, D.W., Di Giovanni, G., Fyson, S.J., Orban, G., Errimgton, A.C., Lorincz, M.L., Gould, T.M., Carter, D.A. and Crunelli, V. (2009). Enhanced tonic GABAA inhibition in typical absence seizures. Nat. Medic., 15, 1392-1398.
- Crunelli, V. and Hughes, S.W. (2010). The slow (< 1Hz) sleep rhythm: a dialogue of three cardinal oscillators. Nat. Neurosci., 13, 9-17.