Associate Professor of Neurosurgery
GRADUATE PROGRAM AFFILIATIONS:
B.S., Department of Microbiology, Seoul National University, Korea
M.S., Biological Science and Engineering, Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology, Duke University
Postdoctoral, Department of Neurobiology, Yale University
We are investigating the cellular and synaptic mechanisms that underlie the synchronous oscillatory activity in three different neural systems of the mammalian brain: the thalamo-cortical, limbic forebrain-habenular, and subthalamo-pallidal systems. Such oscillations are related with sleep-waking cycles, certain forms of epilepsy, movement, and mood regulation.
We are currently focusing on three main topics: first, how the differential activation of GABAA and GABAB receptors in the thalamocortical system dictates neural network oscillations in the form of the sleep spindle rhythm and absence seizures; second, how glutamatergic and GABAergic synapses in the limbic forebrain-habenular system regulate its rhythmic output to the downstream dopamine and serotonin cells in the midbrain and thus controls affective brain functions; third, how deep brain stimulation alters the oscillatory activity of the subthalamo-pallidal system and thus alleviates Parkinsonian symptoms.
For these studies, we employ various electrical recordings such as multi-channel extracellular, dual intracellular, and whole-cell patch clamp recordings in brain slices in vitro as well as in intact animals in vivo.