Voltage-gated-calcium channels are the primary mediators of depolarization-induced calcium entry into neurons that initiates many cellular events. While calcium channels are of critical importance for neuronal function, it is also apparent that inappropriate expression or dysfunction gives rise to a variety of neurological disorders. We are investigating the intrinsic gating processes, as well as cell signaling pathways that control channel activity and trafficking to and from the plasma membrane, and how these regulations are compromised in disease states or by genetic mutations. Specifically, we are focusing on the subfamily of T-type calcium channels that are implicated in several neurological conditions including neuropathic pain and epilepsy.
See our research for more information on our current projects.
The lab is based at the Institute of Biology amd Medical Genetics of the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. The principal investigator, Dr. Norbert Weiss, is originally from France. He completed his PhD at the University Joseph Fourier where he investigated the regulation of voltage-gated calcium channels by G-protein coupled receptors in the lab of Michel De Waard. Nobert then worked on the excitation-contraction coupling in skeletal muscles as a postdoral fellow in the lab of Vincent Jacquemond and Bruno Allard. In 2010, Norbert relocated to Canada to work on the molecular physiology of T-type calcium channels in the lab of Gerald W. Zamponi at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, University of Calgary. The Weiss lab opened in January 2014 with the focus to dissect the molecular, cellular, and environmental mechanisms controlling the functioning of neuronal calcium channels, and apply this knowledge to shed light on the mechanisms underlying human pathologies caused by dysfunction of ion channels so-called channelopathies.