Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Scientific Personnel

Irini Irini Skaliora, Ph.D.
Investigator - Assistant Professor Level

Telephone : +30 210 6597 439
Fax : +30 210 6597 545
e-mail : iskaliora@bioacademy.gr


Center :

Basic Research

Lab Site :

Skaliora Lab


Brief Bio

Education
BSc in Biology at the University of Patras (1986), PhD in Neurobiology at the University of California (1993).

Major Previous Positions
• 1990-1993: Research Assistant, Physiology and Psychology Departments, University of California, USA
• 1993-1995: McDonnell-Pew Research Fellow, University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford
• 1995-1998: E.P. Abraham Junior Research Fellow in Medical Sciences, St Cross College, Oxford, UK
• 1995-1997: Visiting Scientist, Max-Planck Institute for Brain Research, Frankfurt, Germany
• 1996-1998: Marie Curie Research Training Fellow, University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, UK
• 1996-2004: Lecturer in Neurophysiology, Balliol College, Oxford
• 1998-2004: Wellcome Trust Senior Research Scientist, University Laboratory of Physiology, Oxford, UK
• 2004-2006: Research Scientist, Division of Neuroscience, BRFAA, Athens, Greece

Major Current Positions
 • 2007-         Research Assistant Professor, Neurophysiology Lab, Developmental Biology Division, Centre of Basic Science, BRFAA, Athens, Greece.

Training/Expertise
- Development and plasticity of central nervous system, synaptic function, neuronal excitability, development of axonal pathways
- Neurophysiology, whole cell patch-clamp recordings, brain microsurgery & tracer injections, tissue culture (dissociated cells, organotypic cultures), confocal microscopy, fluorescence microscopy, time-lapse microscopy, image analysis, in-situ hybridization, immunocytochemistry, various molecular and histological techniques.

Research Activities
Irini Skaliora is a neuroscientist with a long-standing interest in the development and plasticity of the central nervous system. She has extensive experience in neurophysiology since her PhD, where she was the first to publish on the development of excitability in embryonic cat retinal ganglion cells during the period of activity-dependent sculpting of neuronal projections.  In further work she examined the development of thalamocortical connections and the role of semaphorins in growth cone guidance. To that end, Skaliora developed the first in-vitro preparation in which to perform live imaging of individual thalamocortical axons as they grow towards their target structures.  More recently Skaliora’s research focused on the maturation of local connections in the mammalian midbrain.  She developed an in-vitro preparation in which to study the connectivity in the multisensory layers of the superior colliculus. These studies documented the presence of direct topographically organized inputs, converging from visual and auditory areas, and showed that the two inputs are spatially and temporally independent of each other, thus setting the stage for further examining the alignment of sensory maps during development.  Taken together, these studies had the common goal of examining the mechanisms that underlie cellular and synaptic plasticity during critical developmental periods.  Current work is aimed at extending these previous studies to functional deficits that underlie neurodevelopmental disorders, as well as the process of normal aging and neurodegeneration.  On-going projects include: (i) the ontogeny and neuromodulation of intrinsic cortical activity, in wildtype and Fragile-X mice; (ii) the role of ERK signalling in development and plasticity of the CNS; (iii) selective neuronal vulnerability in a model of accelerated cognitive aging (β2 nAChR KO mice). For these projects, a wide range of techniques is used in the laboratory, including whole cell patch clamp and field potential recordings to study intrinsic electrical properties, network activity (Up and Down states) and synaptic function in slices and neuronal cultures; high-resolution confocal imaging and 3D analysis of neuronal morphology; viral-mediated gene expression and behavioural analysis in transgenic mice. Skaliora is also part of a consortium recently awarded an FP7 Infrastructure grant (2010-2012) to study animal models of neurodegenerative disorders (PD, AD) as well as animals exposed to adverse early environment (metabolic, inflammatory or psychological stress).

Selected Publications

Skaliora I, Doubell TP, Holmes NP, Nodal FR. and King AJ (2004) Functional topography of converging visual and auditory inputs to neurons in the rat superior colliculus. J. Neurophysiol. 92: 2933-2946.  

Skaliora I (2002)  “Mechanisms of experience-dependent plasticity in the developing brain” in ‘Excerpta Medica International Congress Series (ICS)’ vol. 1241, pp 313-320, Elsevier Science.

Doubell TP, Skaliora I, Baron J and King AJ (2003) Functional connectivity between the superficial and deeper layers of the superior colliculus: an anatomical substrate for sensorimotor integration. J. Neurosci. 23(16): 6596-6607.

Doubell TP, Baron J, Skaliora I and King AJ (2000) Topographic projection from the superior colliculus to the nucleus of the brachium of the inferior colliculus: convergence of visual and auditory information. Eur. J. Neurosci. 12:4290-4308.

Skaliora I, Adams R and Blakemore C (2000) Morphology and growth patterns of developing thalamocortical axons. J. Neurosci. 20: 3650-3662.

Skaliora I, Singer W, Betz H and Püschel AW (1998) Differential patterns of semaphorin expression in the developing rat brain. Eur. J. Neurosci. 10: 1215-1229.

Skaliora I, Robinson DW, Scobey RP and Chalupa LM (1995) Properties of K+ conductances in cat retinal ganglion cells during the period of activity-mediated refinements in retinofugal pathways. Eur. J. Neurosci. 7 (7): 1558-1568.

Chalupa LM, Skaliora I and Scobey RP (1993) Responses of isolated cat retinal ganglion cells to injected currents during development. In: “The Visually Responsive Neuron: From Basic Neurophysiology to Behavior”, Progress in Brain Research 95: 25-32.

Skaliora I, Scobey RP and Chalupa LM (1993) Prenatal development of excitability in cat retinal ganglion cells: Action potentials and sodium currents. J. Neurosci. 13: 313-323.

Skaliora I and Pagakis SN (2001)  “Imaging neuronal morphology and growth” in ‘Confocal and Two-Photon Microscopy: Foundations, Applications and Advances’, John Wiley and Sons (editor: Dr A. Diaspro).

King AJ, Doubell TP and Skaliora I (2004) “Epigenetic factors that align visual and auditory maps in the ferret midbrain” in ‘Handbook of Multisensory Processes’, MIT Press, Cambridge, MA (editors, G. Calvert, C. Spence and B. Stein), p 599-612.

Σκαλιόρα Ε (2009) «Η έρευνα για τον εγκέφαλο ως προς τη συνείδηση: απόπειρα πλαισίωσης», Νόησις, 5: 135-155.

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