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Professor Nigel Emptage

Professor Nigel Emptage

Nuffield Research Fellow, Tutor in Physiology and Pharmacology


I joined Lincoln College in 2000 having moved from the National Institute for Medical Research, London. While there I developed optical methods for the imaging of synaptic activity in living neural tissue in collaboration with Tim Bliss, FRS, and Professor Alan Fine. My laboratory within the Department of Pharmacology here in Oxford will continue with the strategy of combining electrophysiology and single/multi-photon imaging to examine the integrative actions of the single synapse, with an emphasis on changes that occur following synaptic plasticity.

I was a graduate student in the Department of Zoology, Cambridge where I worked with Professor Malcolm Burrows, FRS, examining sensory-motor information processing in insects. Following the completion of my PhD in 1991, I was awarded a SERC-NATO fellowship which I held in the laboratory of Professor Tom Carew at Yale University, USA. It was during this period that I became interested in the cellular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and explored the relationship between short- and long-term memory in Aplysia.

Key Research Areas
- Synaptic transmission
- Modulation and plasticity within the central nervous system
- Calcium signalling at central synapses

Background References
Emptage N.J. & Carew T.J. (1993) Long-term synaptic facilitation in the absence of short-term facilitation in Aplysia neurons. Science 262, 253-256.
Emptage N.J., Bliss T., Fine A. & Lambert A. (1999) Fluorescent imaging of synaptic transmission at single synapses in the central nervous system. Nature Suppl. S, 26-28.
Emptage N.J., Bliss T.V.P., Fine A. (1999) Single synaptic events evoke NMDA receptor-mediated release of calcium from internal stores in hippocampal dendritic spines. Neuron 22, 115-124.

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