Ion Channels in Synaptic and Neural Circuit Physiology
June 7 - 27, 2022
Application Deadline: March 1, 2022

Individuals who deferred enrollment from 2020 or 2021 may update their application by sending a 1-2 paragraph research progress update to Shannon Silva.


Teresa Giráldez, Universidad de La Laguna, Spain

Christine Grienberger, Brandeis University
Jan Gründemann, DZNE, Germany
Annalisa Scimemi, SUNY Albany
Nicolas Wanaverbecq, Aix-Marseille University, France


COVID-19: All participants planning to attend in-person will be required to provide documentary proof of full vaccination AND first booster (when eligible) with an FDA or EMA approved vaccine. Additional safety measures will be in line with current NY and federal guidelines applicable in summer 2022.


See the roll of honor - who's taken the course in the past.

Ion channels are the fundamental building blocks of excitability in the nervous system. The primary goal of this course is to demonstrate, through lectures and laboratory work, the different biophysical properties of ion channels that enable neurons to perform unique physiological functions in a variety of neural systems.

Areas of particular interest include:
  1. Voltage- and ligand-gated ion channels at central and peripheral synapses
  2. Synaptic integration and plasticity
  3. Neural circuit function in vitro and in vivo
  4. Optogenetic strategies for circuit manipulation

A typical day consists of morning lectures followed by hands-on laboratory practical sessions in the afternoon and evening with guest lecturers available to give one-on-one practical advice.

The laboratory component of the course introduces students to state-of-the-art electrophysiological approaches for the study of ion channels in their native environments.

The course provides students with hands-on experience in:
  • Using patch-clamp electrophysiology to examine single channel activity in cultured cells
  • Ion channel biophysics in acutely dissociated neurons and synaptic integration
  • Plasticity and circuit dynamics in in vitro slice and in vivo preparations

Different recording configurations will be used (e.g. cell-attached, whole-cell dendritic and somatic patch, voltage- and current-clamp configurations) and the advantages and limitations of each method will be discussed in relation to specific scientific questions. The course will also provide practical experience in cellular and circuit manipulation techniques (i.e. pharmacological, electrophysiological and optogenetic) both in vit o students and postdocs that can show a demonstrated interest and specific plans to apply these techniques to a defined scientific problem.

2022 Guest Speakers Include:

Jelena Baranovic, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Christine Beeton, Baylor College of Medicine
Jeremiah Cohen, Johns Hopkins University
Henry Colecraft, Columbia University
Meaghan Creed, Washington University School of Medicine
Ian Duguid, University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Sonia Gasparini, Louisiana State University
Timothy Harris, HHMI Janelia Research Campus
John Huguenard, Stanford University Medical School
Angelika Lampert, RWTH Aachen University, Germany
Jeffrey Magee, Baylor College of Medicine
Linda Overstreet-Wadiche, University of Alabama at Birmingham
Christoph Schmidt-Hieber, Institut Pasteur, France
Jesper Sjöström, McGill University, Canada
Simon Wiegert, Center for Molecular Neurobiology Hamburg (ZMNH), Germany

Support & Stipends:

We would like to acknowledge the following companies that offered invaluable support:
Nikon Instruments, Inc, Scientifica
Campden Instruments Ltd, Intan Technologies, LLC, Molecular Devices, LLC, Narshige International USA, Sutter Instrument Company, World Precision Instruments

Major support provided by: Helmsley Charitable Trust and Howard Hughes Medical Institute.


Stipends are available to offset tuition costs as follows:

Please indicate your eligibility for funding in your stipend request submitted when you apply to the course. Stipend requests do not affect selection decisions made by the instructors.

Tuition, Room & Board : $5,340

No fees are due until you have completed the full application process and are accepted into the course. Students accepted into the course should plan to arrive by early evening on June 6 and plan to depart after lunch on June 27.

Before applying, ensure you have:

Before applying, ensure you have:
  1. Personal statement/essay;
  2. Letter(s) of recommendation;
  3. Curriculum vitae/resume (optional);
  4. Financial aid request (optional).
    More details.

If you are not ready to fully apply but wish to express interest in applying, receive a reminder two weeks prior to the deadline, and tell us about your financial aid requirements, click below: