My research program is devoted to elucidating the mechanisms of neural synchrony and entrainment (epilepsy) and neurodegenerative processes. We record in vivo cerebral and brainstem EEG in freely moving animals to explore pathogenetic mechanisms associated with brainstem epileptic activity, particularly in regards to mechanisms of Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP).

We have several projects on cellular mechanisms of epilepsy, particularly the synchronizing role of direct coupling between brain cells via gap junctions in several seizure models:
We are examining the pathophysiological functions of a cell membrane-based protein/channel (pannexin) in epilepsy with Dr. Georg Zoidl (York University).
We are studying the efficacy of a novel set of molecules to repair the blood brain barrier (BBB), discovered by Dr. Philippe Monnier (UHN), in models of aging/Alzheimer disease and for the fetal alcohol syndrome, all of which show impairments of the BBB.
With Dr. Bojana Stefanovic (Sunnybrook), we are studying the relationship between acute strokes and seizures in vivo.
In collaboration with Dr. Berj Bardakjian (University of Toronto), the electrical and network properties of the brain are being described by signal processing techniques, for clinical applications.
Finally, we are developing the use of human-derived pluripotential stem cells (iPSCs) to examine pathophysiology and pharmacotherapy in humans with drug resistant, intractable epilepsy.

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


Professor, Department of Medicine, Department of Physiology, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, and Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto