BRFAA - Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of Athens
Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens


Our laboratory is investigating two broad research topics: development/plasticity/aging of the central nervous system, and intrinsic cortical activity in health and disease.

Intrinsic cortical activity: when at rest (e.g. nonREM sleep, anaesthesia, quiet wakefulness) the cortex manifests spontaneous activity in the form of slow oscillations, which are considered the default activity of neuronal circuits and are thought to reflect the wiring of the cortex. We have developed an in-vitro brain slice preparation in which it is possible to record such activity (spontaneous UP and DOWN states) and examine the mechanisms that underlie its generation. We are currently investigating the ontogeny and maturation of spontaneous slow oscillations in mice, as well as their susceptibility to cholinergic and noradrenergic modulation.

Cortical activity in a mouse model of Fragile-X syndrome: We are investigating the cortical dynamics in the Fmr1 KO mouse an animal model for Fragile-X syndrome, aiming to make the link between local network functions and alterations at the synaptic level: we use field potential recordings of local network activity that can be paralleled to EEG recordings and thus provide a link to clinical phenotypes; and intracellular recordings in order to reveal the cellular correlates of field recordings, and thus provide an insight to the molecular aspects of pathophysiology.

Structural and functional ageing of the brain: We use a mouse model of acceleraterd cognitive aging as well as wildtype animals, in order to examine mechanisms of brain plasticity and how these may fail during ageing and neurodegeneration. We see that although the behavioural symptoms of aging appear late in life, structural deficits can be evident much earlier. We are currently investigating possible mechanisms for such deficits and in particular, the role of the cholinergic system and the ERK-mediated signalling pathway.

Role of ERK signalling in brain development and plasticity: The ERK pathway is a central signaling cascade, transducing extracellular signals to cytoplasmic and nuclear effectors. Although ERK1 and ERK2 have been considered redundant and interchangeable, there is compelling evidence they may have distinct functions & roles. We are using a variety of techniques in order to investigate the cellular mechanisms that may differentiate between the two kinases and thus provide new ways to regulate the downstream signalling potential of this important cascade.

Skaliora Lab Contact Info:

Office:  +30 210 6597 203
Lab:  +30 210 6597 439
          +30 210 6597 444