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Nigel Emptage

University Lecturer in Synaptic Pharmacology


The group is interested in synaptic transmission at excitatory synapses in the central nervous system of mammals. We wish to understand the way in which these synapses behave when functioning normally but also the way changes occur during memory formation or when the nervous system is impacted by diseases such as Schizophrenia or Alzheimer’s.

Asking questions about diverse aspects of synaptic function is made possible by our experimental approach, the central tenet of which is that we visualise functional synapses in living tissue both in vitro and in vivo. In some instances we structurally monitor the synapse and in others we use optical reporters to reveal the release or consequence of neurotransmitter release as it occurs. The execution of single synapse imaging requires specialist instrumentation, some of which we develop and implement ‘in house’. Consequently, the expertise within the group is diverse and we routinely collaborate with physicists, mathematicians, chemists as well as clinicians.

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Recent Publications

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