Executive Associate Dean
Emory University School of Medicine
Department of Pharmacology
5001 Rollins Research Center
1510 Clifton Rd
Atlanta, GA 30322-3090
Epilepsy; Genetic control of glutamate receptor function
Glutamate receptors mediate the vast majority of excitatory synaptic transmission in the brain. A major research effort is focused on regulation of glutamate receptor-mediated synaptic transmission in the brain by the co-activation of selected G-protein coupled receptors. A second research emphasis involves the use of microarray and associated technologies to identify novel targets and pathways involved in the basic cellular and molecular mechanisms of epilepsy. These research interests converge and have highlighted a role for cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) signaling pathways in the cognitive deficits, impaired synaptic inhibition, and neurodegeneration caused by seizures. We are currently exploring the consequences of conditional COX2 knockouts and are seeking the prostaglandin receptors responsible for each of these effects; we are employing a chemical biology approach to develop novel small molecule modulators of these receptors in an effort to interrupt the development of epilepsy. As a whole our work integrates information from a variety of experimental strategies to contribute to a better understanding of epilepsy, with broad implications for other brain disorders including stroke and schizophrenia.