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Dr Shefeeq Theparambil

Lecturer in Neuroscience

Furness Building



Research Interests

Brain energy metabolism in health and disease

My broad research focus is on understanding the mechanisms regulating energy metabolism in the brain, exploring its interplay with ionic signalling, synaptic plasticity, and behaviours, particularly emphasizing the role of glial cells.

Since the brain lacks significant energy reserves, it relies on the on-demand and uninterrupted supply of chemical energy in the form of glucose and oxygen from cerebral circulation. Moreover, the cellular landscape of energy requirements within the brain is highly heterogeneous. I aim to investigate the cellular mechanisms governing this on-demand, heterogeneous energy supply in brain health and disease.

The exceptionally high energy demands of the brain result in the substantial production of CO2 and protons (H+), which need to be constantly removed to maintain a physiological pH or acid/base balance. In the second line of research, I aim to investigate the implications of sensing and regulating pH/CO2/HCO3- in brain health and disease.

Considering the significant disruptions of pH homeostasis and energy metabolism observed across various brain diseases, I wish to explore glial mechanisms of pH and metabolic regulation in disease contexts, with a therapeutic emphasis on targeting these mechanisms.

 I predominantly employ high-resolution live cell fluorescence imaging techniques to investigate glial and neuronal signals in the brain bolstered by various physiological and pharmacological manipulations. This approach is further supported by cell-specific viral targeting for genetic manipulations, transgenic mouse models, behaviour tests in mice and amperometry-based biosensor recordings to facilitate dynamic tracking of metabolites, neurotransmitters and neuromodulators. This integrative methodology comprehensively explores brain function and signalling mechanisms, ranging from molecules to behaviours. 


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