Nearly 3 million Americans suffer from epilepsy. In one third of these patients available antiepileptic drugs or invasive surgical procedures are not effective. With an increased understanding of the molecular, electrophysiological and genetic bases of the epilepsies, hope for a cure emerges. Understanding the fundamental basis of epilepsies, especially those that occur in children, and using this information to develop novel treatments is the mission of our laboratory.
Research in the BarabanLab is based on a multi-disciplinary strategy. Techniques, briefly summarized here, include the use of in vitro brain slices for electrophysiological recording of membrane properties and synaptic function (using visualized patch-clamp and optogenetics methods); in vivo analysis of network function (using in silico probes and video-EEG monitoring); molecular analysis of gene expression using in situ hybridization and qPCR; immunohistochemical and morphological studies of neuronal structure and protein expression; pharmacological analysis including high-throughput drug screening in zebrafish; CRISPR-Cas9 based genome editing to generate epileptic zebrafish; and interneuron progenitor-based cell therapies