Ion Channel and Synaptic Neurobiology


The Ion Channel and Synaptic Neurobiology  Laboratory  (UNIS UMR_S 1072, director D. Debanne) is a joint INSERM and Aix-Marseille University research unit located on the north campus of the Marseille medical school. The staff include 35 research scientists, technicians, post-doctoral researchers and students.


Our research focuses on the role of ion channels in neuronal signaling, plasticity and diseases of the nervous system.


Group 1 (O. El Far) is studying the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and it's calcium sensitivity. 


Group 2 (D. Debanne) is aiming at understanding the mechanisms of induction and expression of the plasticity  of intrinsic excitability in hippocampal and neocortical neurones.


Group 3 (J. M. Goaillard) is analyzing the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underie the robustness of neuronal firing in the substantia nigra.


The Biomarkers and Diagnostics platform (M. Seagar) is aiming at identifying molecular markers for the diagnosis and prognosis of neurological and psychiatric disease and providing routine serological assays for the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases of the nervous system.




In January 2018, Henri Chahinian, Jacques Fantini and Nouara Yahi have joined the thematic axis headed by O. El Far, Molecular Mechanisms of Neurotransmitter Release.


Their research is focused on the molecular mechanisms of synaptic transmission in physiological and pathological conditions, with special emphasis to the role of brain lipids including gangliosides and cholesterol.