Seena Mathew Seena Mathew, Ph D Neurons

With Prof. John J. Hablitz, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Neurobiology, University of Alabama, Birmingham

Seena Mathew with Prof. John J. Hablitz, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Neurobiology, University of Alabama and Alison Margolies, Graduate Assistant. (Photo taken in 2007.) Prof. Hablitz is not only my Ph D. advisor and guide, he is also my mentor and a good friend. I also owe a lot to Alison who had been a great help while I was at UAB.
About Prof. John J. Hablitz, Ph.D.

Prof. John J. Hablitz is Professor of Neurobiology at University of Alabama in Birmingham. His primary research interests include Neurodevelopment and Developmental Disabilities, Ion Channels and Synaptic Function and Cellular Mechanisms of Neurotransmission.

Dr. Hablitz's research on synaptic transmission is aimed at understanding the basic biophysical properties of mammalian central neurons, as well as to explore the pathophysiology of experimental epilepsy.

Electrophysiological techniques, including whole-cell voltage-clamp recordings from visually identified neurons, are used in in vitro brain slice preparations. The goal of these studies is to determine the types of synaptic interactions present among pyramidal cells and interneurons in neocortex and how these patterns change during development.

Other studies involve the use of optical recording techniques and voltage-sensitive dyes. These studies examine the spatial and temporal extent of cortical circuit activation in normal neocortex and an animal model of cortical dysplasia.

Source: UAB Website

With Nobel Laureate Prof. Eric R. Kandel, M.D.

Seena Mathew with University Prof. Eric R. Kandel, M.D., Nobel Laureate and Fred Kavli Professor and Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science, Department of Neuroscience, Columbia University and Senior Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute. The photo was taken when Prof. Kandel visited UAB in October 2007.
About University Prof. Eric R. Kandel, M.D.

University Professor Kandel was the winner of the 2000 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for his discoveries concerning signal transduction in the nervous system. He made significant contributions to the understanding of "how the efficiency of synapses can be modified, and which molecular mechanisms take part. With the nervous system of a sea slug as experimental model he has demonstrated how changes of synaptic function are central for learning and memory. Protein phosphorylation in synapses plays an important role for the generation of a form of short-term memory. For the development of a long term memory a change in protein synthesis is also required, which can lead to alterations in shape and function of the synapse."

Prof. Kandel was also the winner of one of the 12th annual Charles A. Dana Awards for pioneering achievements in health and education. The award was given for "fundamental discoveries in synaptic function—truly singular research that has significant implications in the study of learning and memory and the mechanisms of disease, with profound impact on helping us to understand how the brain works, that will ultimately change our lives."

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