Institute of Neuroscience

Staff Profile

Dr Evelyne Sernagor

Reader in Developmental Neuroscience



BSc, MSc, PhD

Previous Positions

Associate Scientist, Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, San Francisco, CA, USA
Visiting Fellow, NIH


Society for Neuroscience
British Neuroscience Association




Research Interests

Cellular neurophysiology
Cellular imaging
Neural plasticity
Developmental neuroscience
Retinal neurobiology

The main focus of our lab is to investigate how early neural activity drives the maturation of functional properties in retinal ganglion cells. Both spontaneously generated activity (taking the form of waves propagating across the retina) before birth and early visual experience play crucial roles in retinal maturation. Using a turtle model (and soon mouse), our main focus of research at present is to elucidate the role of GABA in these developmental processes.
We use various techniques, including calcium imaging, patch clamp recordings, extracellular recordings (including from multi-electrode arrays), immunocytochemistry, dendritic tree labelling (HRP, fluorescent markers, GFP) and reconstruction.

Current Work

Role of GABA in retinal maturation

Future Research

Role of light and circadian rhythms during retinal maturation


Projects grants from NIH ($ 320,000), MRC (£ 30,000), NATO ($ 6,000), BBSRC (£ 172,000), Newcastle Hospitals Special Trustees (£ 30,000), Newcastle University Research Committee (PhD studentship), Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (PhD studenthship).