Congratulations to Oscar Gonzales for receiving NSF pre-doctoral award

The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program¬†GRFP recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.¬† Oscar Gonzales was awarded by this prestigious fellowship for his research on the topic of epileptogenesis and seizures.


Breaking in precise balance of excitation and inhibition in brain networks may promote hyper-synchronization and lead to epileptic seizures. Multiple factors potentially affecting this delicate balance include synaptic plasticity and changes in the intrinsic excitability that itself depends, among other factors, on the ion concentration dynamics. The goal of this study is to use a combination of in vitro multielectrode array recordings (MEA), optogenetics, and computational modeling to explore changes in the spatio-temporal dynamics of neuronal networks mediated by homeostatic synaptic plasticity (HSP) and ionic dynamics.