Jesper Sjöström

Contact information

To apply to the Sjöström Lab, please use this form.
Email: jesper.sjostrom [at]
Office: 514-934-1934 ext. 44561
Mobile: +1-438-826-1971

Academic affiliations

Associate Professor | Dept of Medicine and Dept of Neurology & NeurosurgeryFaculty of Medicine
Researcher | Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
Associate member | Dept of Physiology




Dr Jesper Sjöström is an Associate Professor in Neuroscience at McGill University's Centre for Research in Neuroscience (CRN), where his team explores plasticity in the brain using 2-photon imaging, quadruple patching, optogenetics, and computer modelling. After an MSc in Molecular Biotechnology at Uppsala University in 1996, he obtained a PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis University in 2003, under the supervision of Dr Sacha B. Nelson. Following four years of postdoctoral studies at University College London (UCL) in the lab of Dr Michael Häusser, he remained on at UCL as an MRC Career Development Fellowship awardee running an independent lab. After arriving at McGill in 2011, he received the CIHR New Investigator and the FRQS Chercheurs-Boursiers Senior 9 awards. His research has unveiled plasticity learning rules, neocortical connectivity patterns, and unorthodox forms of NMDA receptor signaling. He is Specialty Chief Editor of Frontiers in Synaptic Neuroscience.


Research Interests in Brief

  • Mechanisms and phenomenology of synaptic plasticity learning rules
  • Information storage and memory in the brain
  • The organization of connectivity in cortical circuits in health and disease
  • Advanced optical approaches in neuroscience research

Synaptic Plasticity in Health and Disease

Neuroscientists believe that learning occurs by changes at synaptic connections between neurons in the brain, which is known as synaptic plasticity. My research focuses on the properties and mechanistic underpinnings of plasticity, as well as its functional impact. We also explore the connectivity patterns that ensue from plasticity and how these are shaped by activity. Our goal is to understand the role of plasticity in health as well as in pathologies such as epilepsy and autism. To do so, my team employs state-of-the-art technology such as quadruple whole-cell recordings, two-photon laser scanning microscopy, optogenetics, and computer simulations.

Illustration of the quadruple patch-clamp method for finding synaptically connected pairs of neurons. Left and middle: Two-photon laser-scanning microscopy of pyramidal cells dye-filled via the recording pipette. Right: A spike train in pyramidal cell D evokes EPSPs in pyramidal cells A, B, and C. By Dr Hovy Wong.

Back to top