Cortical spreading depression (CSD) is a transient wave of neuronal depolarization propagating across the neocortex followed by periods of electrical silence. CSD is implicated in neurological diseases such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, and migraine aura. During CSD, morphological changes of neurons include swelling of the soma and dendritic beading (“bead on a string” appearance). A previous study in the lab identified a chloride channel, SLC26A11, as an essential component mediating neuronal swelling during cytotoxic edema (Rungta et al (2015) Cell). In addition, this channel was observed to be activated at depolarizing potentials. Given that CSD also involves neuronal depolarization and neuronal swelling, the aim of this study is to investigate the role of the SLC26A11 channel in neuronal swelling during CSD and its contribution to other features of CSD.
Why did you decide to study at UBC?
UBC houses many labs of expertise in a particular field of neuroscience. It has a beautiful campus and possesses great facilities. In addition, Vancouver is a perfect out-door orientated city.