Thomas P. Sutula

Thomas Sutula
Chair and Professor, Department of Neurology
(608) 263-5448


M.D. University of Pennsylvania

Ph.D. University of Virginia

Research Focus:

Hippocampal Plasticity in Development, Memory, and Epilepsy

Research Strengths:

Development, Plasticity, and Repair; Neurobiology of Disease

Research Description:

The laboratory studies activity-dependent circuit plasticity in the developing and adult hippocampus, a region of brain that plays a role in learning, memory, and epilepsy. Previous studies from the laboratory have demonstrated that seizures (an intense form of neural activity) induce enhanced synaptic transmission, progressive neuronal death, and axon sprouting which are accompanied by permanent functional alterations in hippocampal circuits including increased susceptibility to additional seizures and memory dysfunction. In developing rats, seizures also modify formation of hippocampal circuits and induce long-term alterations in the capacity for hippocampal synaptic plasticity and learning. Acute and chronic electrophysiological, anatomical, and behavioral methods are being used to study how neural activity and seizures modify the hippocampal organization and function. A variety of molecular and genomic approaches are being used to study how long-term alterations in hippocampal circuits are produced by neural activity, and we are also examining how alterations in the extracellular ionic environment interacting with seizure-induced circuit reorganization in the dentate gyrus contribute to emergent properties such as recurrent excitation and network synchronization.


Please see PubMed for most recent publications