Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

Research Interests

The Bowie Lab uses a combination of techniques to study ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs), GABA-A receptors and more recently, Na+ channels. All ion-channel families are widespread in the vertebrate brain and fulfill many important roles in healthy individuals as well as being implicated in disease states associated with postnatal development (e.g. Autism, Schizophrenia), cerebral insult (e.g. Stroke, Epilepsy) and aging disorders (e.g. Alzheimer's disease, Parkinsonism). We are looking at iGluRs, GABA-A receptors and Na+ channels at two inter-related levels. In molecular terms, we are examining the events that occur when each ion-channel family is activated with the aim of developing novel therapeutic compounds. At the cellular level, we are studying the role that iGluRs, GABA-A receptors and Na+ channels fulfill in shaping the behaviour of neuronal circuits and how these processes may be corrected in disease states.

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Lab news

January 2021 - Dr. Bowie wrote an Editorial for the Journal of Physiology titled, "Neurotransmitter-gated ion channels, still front and centre stage" featured in the 15 Jan 2021 Vol 599.2 Issue. This issue includes the work of our very own Dr. Ryan Alexander, as well as cover art done by Amanda Perozzo (see Publications). There are also a number of excellent symposium reviews related to research presented at the 2019 iGluRetreat and ISN Satellite Conference.

November 2020 - Congrats to Dr. Erik Larson who successfully defended his PhD thesis. We are proud of you! See some pics here.

Congrats also to Dr. Ryan Alexander who presented the inaugural trainee talk at the “NeuroWire Club”.

October 2020 - Congrats to Dr. Ryan Alexander who had two papers accepted for publication on his work looking at the neurophysiology of cerebellar molecular layer interneurons. Learn more about the studies here.

Dr. Lisa Topolnik launched a virtual research network called “NeuroWire Club” which will focus on neuronal circuits of the brain with an emphasis on the plasticity of GABAergic inhibition. Learn more about NeuroWire at and sign up for the email notifications of upcoming seminars.

Join the lab

We currently have positions available for graduate students and/or post-doctoral fellows. Click the link above for more information!

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