Paul A. Rutecki

Paul Rutecki
Professor and Vice Chairperson, Department of Neurology; Director of VA Northwest Epilepsy Center of Excellence
(608) 263-5448


M.D. State University of New York at Buffalo     

Research Focus:

Understanding how abnormal neuronal synchronization occurs to produce seizures and how to intervene therapeutically to prevent seizures from occurring

Research Strengths:

Membrane Excitability and Synaptic Transmission; Neuronal Circuits; Neurobiology of Disease

Research Description:

The main goal of my laboratory is to understand the synaptic physiology of the hippocampus and how that circuitry favors epileptiform activity. We use the hippocampal slice preparation and intra- and extracellular recording techniques to study synaptic potentials and currents in CA3 pyramidal neurons. The hippocampal slice preparation is capable of generating epileptiform activity when convulsants are applied acutely or following lesions that alter the intrinsic synaptic circuitry.

The lab is now investigating the effects of activation of the metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluR) on epileptiform activity and the development of a long lasting change in physiology that promotes abnormal synchronization. Group I agonists not only produce recurrent, synchronous neuronal oscillations, but following a 2-hour exposure induce a state of long-lasting changes in synaptic circuitry that favors synchronization. We believe that this phenomenon may contribute to the epileptogenesis, the development of epilepsy.


Please see PubMed for most recent publications