Quick Project Snapshot

Optogenetic modulation of the area tempestas – an epilepsy hot spot

Several lines of study have recently converged to reveal a new target for controlling epileptic seizures. Early work by Piredda and Gale (Nature 1985, 317:623) provided unequivocal evidence that the prepiriform cortex, subsequently coined the “area tempestas”, was a hot spot for initiation and spread of epileptic seizures.  Within this region a population of specialised inhibitory neurons called neurogliaform cells (NG) shows a stereotypic pattern of firing that implicates them seizures.  In this project the candidate will use in vivo electrophysiological recording and optogenetic stimulation to examine real time modulation of the control of seizures to develop a role for the in vivo function of NG cells and explore their potential utility in seizure suppression.


The Florey's Epilepsy division is a world-leading centre for epilepsy research. The division has major groups at both the Florey’s Austin and Parkville campus. The group studies mechanisms that cause epilepsy from the level of cells to the function of the whole brain. We use technologies including advanced MRI and cutting edge cellular physiology techniques to allow us to understand genetic and acquired mechanisms that give rise to epilepsy. Together with our colleagues from The University of Melbourne and across Australia we are working towards finding a cure for epilepsy.

All Labs that operate in this Division

Epilepsy Cognition LaboratoryEpilepsy Neuroinformatics LaboratoryImaging and EpilepsyInnate Phagocytosis LaboratoryIon Channels and Human Diseases LaboratoryNeural Networks LaboratoryNeurophysiology of Excitable Networks LaboratoryPsychology and Experimental NeurophysiologySleep and CognitionTraumatic Brain Injury Laboratory