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Nigel Emptage


Head of Department

  • Professor of Synaptic Pharmacology

I joined the Department in 2000 from the National Institute for Medical Research, London where I worked with one of the founding fathers of the mammalian plasticity field, Tim Bliss, FRS. During this period I worked to develop novel optical methods for the imaging of synaptic activity in living neural tissue enabling the first optical quantal analysis of plasticity to be performed (Emptage et al. Neuron 2003).  The development and implementation of novel optical methodologies with which to study the nervous system has become a hallmark of the laboratory; several collaborations are highly active at the moment.

Having a completed a first degree in Biophysics I was fortunate enough to join the group of Professor Malcolm Burrows, FRS in the Department of Zoology, Cambridge. Here I worked for a PhD examining sensory-motor information processing in the locust. Looking back it is striking how the approach we followed has striking similarities to those used now in mammalian neuroscience. Following the completion of my PhD I received a SERC-NATO fellowship, held in the laboratory of Professor Tom Carew at Yale University, USA. It was during this period that my interest in the cellular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity became firmly cemented (Emptage & Carew, Science 1993).

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Recent Publications

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