The mammalian brain exhibits distinct patterns of electrographic oscillations that correlate tightly with behavioural states and are thought to be important for cognitive functions. Alterations in brain oscillations are associated with various neurological disorders, particularly epileptic seizures. While electroencephalographic (EEG) recordings are widely used as a diagnostic tool in clinical practice, understanding normal and abnormal brain oscillations remain a major task of neurobiology.

The long-term goal of my research is to examine the cellular and local circuitry mechanisms of brain EEG oscillations. My focus is on the hippocampus and related temporal lobe structures as these brain regions are crucial for cognition and susceptible to ischemic injury, cognitive impairment and epileptic seizures. Specifically, my lab uses rodent models in vivo and in vitro to explore intrinsic network oscillations of the hippocampus and temporal lobe circuitry under physiological conditions and following brain ischemia and seizures.

Current research projects in my lab are: 1) to examine cellular and local circuitry of hippocampal network activities in adult and aging mice via combined intracranial EEG recordings in behaving animals and extracellular-single cell recordings in brain slices; 2) to examine how epileptic seizures arise in immature and aging mice following brain ischemic events (hypoxic-ischemic episodes or middle cerebral artery occlusion); and 3) to explore potential neuroprotective and antiepileptic therapeutic strategies in these models.
  • Techniques and expertise
    • Chronic intracranial EEG recordings (tethered and telemetric) and brain stimulation in rodent models
    • Extracellular and patch-clamp recordings in brain slices
    • Rodent models of brain ischemia and epileptic seizures

For a list of Dr. Zhang's publications, please visit Scopus or PubMed.

Associate Professor, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
Faculty Member, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto