Department 10
Leader: Beáta Sperlágh

The main scientific goal of the Department of Pharmacology is to understand basic rules of information processing in the brain and thereby to identify new therapeutic targets for the largely unresolved treatment of CNS diseases. Research is performed on molecular cellular and system level, utilizing cutting-edge technologies, such as two-photon imaging, in vitro patch clamp electrophysiology of unitary synaptic connections, with direct, simultaneous recording from single small presynaptic axons and postsynaptic neurons, optogenetics, microelectrode biosensor technique and a wide repertoire of CNS disease models and behavior tests.

Current research activities include studies on non-conventional forms of cross talk between neurons, such as non-synaptic transmission; on purinergic signaling in the physiological and pathological nervous system; on fundamental mechanisms of synaptic communications between individual neurons in the cellular interface between the dentate gyrus and CA3 regions as well as activity patterns of dendrites and neuronal networks.

In addition to research, development is an important part of the activity of the department: our researchers are involved in ongoing drug development projects in collaboration with industrial and academic partners. In addition, they develop new 3D scanning methods for 3D two-photon microscopy, which allows scanning speed several order of magnitude faster than with previous solutions even from awake, behaving animals.