Douglas Coulter Ph.D.


Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania
34th & Civic Center Boulevard
Abramson, Room 410
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Biography/Curriculum Vitae:

Research Interests:

Narrative of Current Research Efforts:

My research interests center on understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the development of epilepsy. Symptomatic seizure disorders such as temporal lobe epilepsy are among the most prevalent and least medically responsive forms of epilepsy. They are also among the most interesting. A presumably normal individual receives some injurious stimuli, which, at some distant time point results in the initiation of an epileptic state, characterized by recurrent spontaneous seizures. A better understanding these seizure-initiating mechanisms should facilitate development of enhanced therapeutic strategies to improve treatment, and perhaps eventually contribute to the development of a cure for epilepsy.

My laboratory uses physiological, anatomical, and molecular techniques to address experimental issues relevant to epilepsy. Physiologically, my colleagues and I use patch clamp, intracellular, and extracellular recording techniques in both in vitro and in vivo preparations of animal or human brain. Anatomically, we use immunohistochemical and conventional staining techniques to characterize alterations occurring in the epileptic brain at a circuit level, including loss of populations of neurons, alterations in expression patterns of proteins, and axonal remodeling. Molecularly, we use a combination of semi-quantitative profiling of mRNA expression levels at the single cell level, in situ hybridization, retroviral transfection techniques, and antisense oligonucleotide knockdown of expression of certain proteins. The combination of these three diverse experimental approaches provides a powerful, synergistic approach to better understand critical factors contributing to the initiation of the epileptic condition.

Major Honors and Awards:

Representative Publications:

Selected Publications
Gibbs JW 3rd, Shumate MD, Coulter DA; Differential epilepsy-associated alterations in postsynaptic GABA(A) receptor function in dentate granule and CA1 neurons. J Neurophysiol 1997 Apr;77(4):1924-38

Brooks-Kayal AR, Shumate MD, Jin H, Rikhter TY, Coulter DA; Selective changes in single cell GABA(A) receptor subunit expression and function in temporal lobe epilepsy. Nat Med 1998 Oct;4(10):1166-72

Shumate MD, Lin DD, Gibbs JW 3rd, Holloway KL, Coulter DA; GABA(A) receptor function in epileptic human dentate granule cells: comparison to epileptic and control rat. Epilepsy Res 1998 Sep;32(1-2):114-28

Created 8/25/2006 by Danielle Onunkwo
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