Dr. Neil Harrison

Professor of Anesthesiology & Pharmacology

Research Description

Dr. Harrison’s main area of research interest is in synaptic transmission, especially at inhibitory synapses, which are necessary for the normal processing of information in the mammalian brain. Failure of synaptic inhibition leads to epilepsy, while enhancement of synaptic inhibition is associated with reduced anxiety, muscle relaxation, sedation, hypnosis and anesthesia. The lab studies the details of inhibitory synaptic function, its modulation and plasticity, using a variety of modern electrophysiological and molecular biological techniques. Projects within the lab study these synapses at several different levels of organization, including brain slice, single cell and subcellular preparations. A major focus of the lab is on the GABA-A receptor, the principal receptor protein at inhibitory synapses in the brain. The lab personnel include physiologists, biophysicists, molecular biologists and pharmacologists. 

For more information, please contact Dr. Harrison at nh2298@cumc.columbia.edu.

Select Publications

View a complete list of Dr. Harrison's publications.