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School of
Medicine

Neurosciences

Friel, David

Friel, David

David Friel, PhD

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Associate Professor of Neurosciences

Research

I am interested in how cells communicate and process information through the use of systems of interacting signaling molecules, especially ion channels, and transporters. Behind this interest is a desire to understand how the signaling mechanisms expressed in cells extract information from their environment to facilitate higher order function of cell assemblies. Specific research projects in which this general question has been explored include: (1) Cellular Ca2+ signaling in neurons, specifically addressing how Ca2+ channels and transporters at the cell surface and within the membranes of internal stores interact functionally to orchestrate Ca2+ signals in response to stimulation, and (2) the impact of ataxia-producing mutations in the gene encoding P/Q type Ca2+ channels on membrane excitability, synaptic transmission and circuit properties in the cerebellar cortex. I hope my research will provide insight into basic mechanisms of intra- and intercellular-communication, and point to new and effective approaches for overcoming Ca2+ regulatory disorders in humans.