Jones group

Epilepsy & Behaviour lab

Key terms

Epilepsy, Stress, Behaviour, Cognition, Schizophrenia, Animal models, Anti-epileptogenic strategies, translational medical research


2019 Epilepsy & Behaviour lab. L-R: Dr Ezgi Ozturk (Senior Research assistant), Dr Idrish Ali (Postdoctoral fellow), Ms Naomi Dvir (PhD student), Ms Flavia Gomez (PhD student), Dr Juliana Silva with baby (Postdoctoral fellow), Ms Gabi Dezsi (Senior Research assistant), Ms Anna Harutyunyan (PhD Student), Associate Professor Nigel Jones (Group leader), Dr Matt Hudson (Postdoctoral fellow), Dr Shije Liu (Postdoctoral fellow), Ms Peravina Thergarajan (PhD Student), Mr William Yang (BSc Hons student), Mr Runxuan Lin (PhD student), Mr Hattapark Dejakaisaya (PhD Student). Absent: Karan Sharma (BSc Hons student)

Research Goal

To explore relationships between epilepsy and its psychiatric comorbidities, and to develop disease-modifying therapies targeting underlying biological mechanisms. In addition, we aim to understand the cellular and biological basis of cognitive dysfunction in disorders such as schizophrenia.

Research Overview

Our research utilises discovery science approaches to explore animal behaviour in the context of health and disease. The primary goal of the lab is to understand the pathophysiological mechanisms which cause neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders, particularly epilepsy, cognitive disorders and mental health conditions. We employ of a range of advanced behavioural tests of cognition, anxiety, and depression, coupled with in vivo electrophysiology, molecular biology, in vivo imaging, opto/chemogenetic, immunocytochemical and transgenic methods to achieve this goal. We also study the role and influence of neuronal oscillations in cognitive behaviours in physiological circumstances, using sophisticated behavioural tasks and high-end electrophysiological recordings.

Projects

Current Competitive Project Funding:

  • NHMRC Project grant APP1157353 (2019-2022): NC Jones, A Pitkanen. Antidepressants in Epilepsy
  • NHMRC Project grant APP1156733 (2019 – 2021): NC Jones; Functional disconnections in schizophrenia
  • NHMRC Project grant APP1105666 (2016 – 2020): A McCluskey, PJ Robinson, NC Jones; A new approach for treating intractable epilepsy
  • NIH/NINDS Centre Without Walls NINDS RFA-NS-16-012 (2018-2022): NC Jones (Investigator) The Epilepsy Bioinformative study for antiepileptogenic therapy (EpiBioS4Rx)
  • Monash University Establishment grant (2018 – 2022): NC Jones

Selected recent publications

All recent publications can be seen at Orcid

Click on tabs below for a list of publications in each area

  • P Thergarajan, JA Hamilton, TJ O’Brien, I Ali, NC Jones. Microglial polarization in posttraumatic epilepsy: Potential mechanism and treatment opportunity. Epilepsia, v.61(2), 203-215, 2020
  • S Carron, G Dezsi, E Ozturk, J Nithianantharajah, NC Jones. Cognitive deficits in a rat model of temporal lobe epilepsy using touchscreen‐based translational tools. Epilepsia, v. 60(8), pp. 1650-1660, 2019
  • C Li, J Silva, E Ozturk, G Dezsi, TJ. O’Brien, T Renoir, NC Jones. Chronic fluoxetine treatment accelerates kindling epileptogenesis in mice independently of 5-HT2A receptors, Epilepsia, v59(7), e114-119, 2018.
  • S-J Liu, Y Shen, S Shultz, A Nguyen, C Hovens, P Adlard, A Bush, J Chan, P Kwan, T O’Brien, NC Jones. Epileptogenesis is exacerbated by hyperphosphorylation of tau in mice. Epilepsia, v. 58(9), e136-141, 2017
  • G Dezsi, E Ozturk, M Salzberg, M Morris, T O'Brien, NC Jones. Environmental enrichment imparts disease-modifying and transgenerational effects on genetically-determined epilepsy and anxiety. Neurobiology of Disease. v.93, p:129-36, 2016.
  • S-J Liu, P Zheng, DK Wright, G Dezsi, E Braine, T Nguyen, NM Corcoran, LA Johnston, CM Hovens, JN Mayo, M Hudson, SR Shultz, NC Jones, TJ O’Brien, Sodium selenate retards epileptogenesis in acquired epilepsy models reversing changes in protein phosphatase 2A and hyperphosphorylated tau. Brain v.139, p1919-38, 2016
  • MR Hudson, E Sokolenko, TJ O’Brien, NC Jones. NMDA receptors on parvalbumin-positive interneurons and pyramidal neurons both contribute to MK-801 induced gamma oscillatory disturbances: Complex relationships with behaviour. Neurobiology of Disease, v.134, 104625, 2020.
  • E Sokolenko, MR Hudson, J Nithianantharajah, NC Jones. The mGluR2/3 agonist LY379268 reverses NMDA receptor antagonist effects on cortical gamma oscillations and phase coherence, but not working memory impairments, in mice. Journal of Psychopharmacology, v.33(12), p1588-1599, 2019.
  • M Hudson, G Rind, TJ O’Brien, NC Jones. Reversal of evoked gamma oscillation deficits is predictive of antipsychotic activity with a unique profile for clozapine. Translational Psychiatry, v.6, e784. 2016

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