E-mail: derek.bowie [at] mcgill.ca
Research Areas: Biological Modelling; Cellular Mechanisms, Ion Channels and Synapses, Neural Circuits, Structural Biology
The Bowie Lab uses a combination of physiological and quantitative techniques to study the biology of three major ion-channel families of the mammalian brain, namely ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs) and GABA-A receptors as well as voltage-gated sodium (Nav) channels. All ion-channel families are widespread in the vertebrate brain and fulfill many important roles in healthy individuals as well as being implicated in disease states associated with postnatal development (e.g. autism, schizophrenia), cerebral insult (e.g. stroke, epilepsy) and aging disorders (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsonism). We are looking at iGluRs, GABA-A receptors and Nav channels at two inter-related levels. In molecular terms, we are examining the events that occur when each ion-channel family is activated with the aim of developing novel therapeutic compounds. At the cellular level, we are studying the role that iGluRs, GABA-A receptors and Nav channels fulfill in shaping the behaviour of neuronal circuits and how these processes may be corrected in disease states.