Jones Laboratory: Epilepsy and Behaviour

Research Overview

Our research utilises basic 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, 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 hig-end electrophysiological recordings.

Staff

  • A/Prof Nigel Jones – Behavioural Neuroscientist and group leader  
  • Ms. Gabi Dezsi – Research Assistant
  • Dr. Ezgi Ozturk - Research Assistant
  • Jaime Lee - PhD student
  • Elysia Sokolenko - PhD student
  • Sephanie Amiridis - PhD student
  • Juliana Silva - PhD student
  • Dana Jazayeri - PhD student
  • Shobi Sivathamboo - PhD student
  • Ping Zheng - PhD student
  • Crystal Li - Masters student
  • Joseph Sun - Masters student
  • Gabriella Martello - Honours student
  • Georgia Harris - Honours student
  • Caitlyn Roberts - Honours student

Collaborators

  • Prof Patrick Kwan and Prof. Terry O'Brien - Department of Medicine (RMH), University of Melbourne
  • A/Prof Andrew Morokoff - Department of Surgery, University of Melbourne
  • Prof. Margaret Morris - University of New South Wales, NSW
  • Prof. Phil Robinson and A/Prof Megan Chircop - Children’s Medical Research Institute, NSW
  • Prof. Adam McCluskey - University of Newcastle, NSW
  • Prof Maarten van den Buuse - La Trobe University  
  • A/Prof Cheryl Shoubridge - University of Adelaide
  • Prof. Hal Blumenfeld - Yale University, CT, USA
  • Prof Moshe Syzf and Prof Anne McKinney - McGill University, Montreal, Canada
  • Dr. Thibault Renoir and Dr. Jess Nithianantharajah - Florey Institutes for Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • A/Prof Didier Pinault - University de Strasbourg, France
  • Dr. Jay Spampanato - University of Utah, USA

Funding

  • ARC Future Fellowship - Psychiatric disorders in epilepsy
  • NHMRC Project grant - The effect of stress and environmental enrichment on disease progression in epilepsy
  • NHMRC Project grant - A new approach to treating intractable epilepsy
  • Cancer Council of Australia - Defining the cellular determinants that drive dynamin inhibitor induced cell death and in vivo efficacy against glioblastoma  
  • NHMRC project grant - Tau phosphorylation to treat and prevent acquired epilepsy, neurodegeneration and neuropsychiatric disease following a brain injury
  • NHMRC Project grant - Comorbid affective disturbance in a model of absence epilepsy
  • CURE Taking Flight award - Epigenetics in epilepsy
  • NHMRC project grant - Why does early life stress aggravate epileptogenesis?

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Publications

  • 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, accepted May 9, 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, and TJ O’Brien. Sodium selenate retards epileptogenesis in acquired epilepsy models reversing changes in protein phosphatase 2A and hyperphosphorylated tau. Brain, accepted April 12, 2016
  • 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, accepted 6 March 2016
  • AS Koe, MR Salzberg, MJ Morris, TJ O’Brien, NC Jones. Early life maternal separation stress augmentation of limbic epileptogenesis: the role of corticosterone and HPA axis programming Psychoneuroendocrinology, v.42, p:124-33, 2014
  • G Dezsi, E Ozturk, D Stanic, KL Powell, H Blumenfeld, TJ O’Brien, and NC Jones Ethosuximide reduces epileptogenesis and behavioural comorbidity in the GAERS model of genetic generalized epilepsy. Epilepsia v54 p635-43, 2013
  • NC Jones, MR Salzberg, G Kumar, A Couper, MJ Morris, TJ O’Brien. Elevated anxiety and depressive-like behavior in a rat model of genetic generalised epilepsy suggesting common causation. Experimental Neurology v.209(1), p:254-60, 2008

Research Projects

This Research Group doesn't currently have any projects



Faculty Research Themes

Neuroscience

School Research Themes

Neuroscience & Psychiatry



Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact Associate Professor Nigel Jones

Department / Centre

Medicine and Radiology

Unit / Centre

Jones Laboratory