My research focus is on how neurons communicate in the presence of genetic mutations causing disease, in particular neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. Work in the Enteric neuroscience lab focuses on changes in gut neuron activity in mouse models of neurological disease.
We have excellent assays for determining changes in gut motility due to synaptic mutations, for localizing synaptic proteins in the neurons of the gut and investigating gastrointestinal behaviours in mouse models of disease. In collaboration with A/Prof Franks at La Trobe University we are working to understand interactions between the nervous system and gut microbes. Relevant to this work we are also interested in elulcidating changes to inflammatory pathways in these models.
My research expertise includes the characterization of interneuron subtypes in brain tissue using a range of techniques measuring neuronal function, gene expression and cell morphology, in particular to establish the roles of interneuron subtypes in typically functioning cortical networks and rodent models of disease. In line with this expertise, we are also examining neurophysiological changes in brain slices from these animal models.