Dr Joël Tabak
Endocrinology and Metabolism
Neuroscience and Neurology
University of Exeter Medical School
Skills Development Fellowship Vision
A successful fellowship would allow a researcher with a clear scientific vision to acquire the interdisciplinary skillset needed to fulfil their research objectives. Alternatively, it would allow the researcher to acquire a wide set of techniques and ideas that they can develop into their own scientific vision. In either case, the best way to acquire skills is to get involved in collaborative projects with the host labs where they plan to learn those skills.
BSc in Physics; MSc in Digital Signal Processing; PhD in Computational Neuroscience.
My work is about finding principles of operation in complex biological systems, such as neuroendocrine axes, neural networks, and electrically active cells. To do so I use a mix of mathematical modelling and analysis, and experimental techniques such as calcium imaging and patch clamp electrophysiology. I also use a technique called dynamic clamp, which bridges modelling and experiments. Using dynamic clamp, I can vary key parameters of an ion channel, as is done in mathematical models, and observe the effects in real cells. I also have an interest in applying machine learning techniques, such as deep neural networks, for diagnostic and treatment purposes.
- Fletcher P, Bertram R & Tabak J (2016). From global to local: exploring the relationship between parameters and behaviors in models of electrical excitability. Journal of Computational Neuroscience, 40:331-345.
- Tabak J, Tomaiuolo M, Gonzalez-Iglesias A, Milescu L & Bertram R (2011). Fast activating voltage- and calcium-dependent potassium (BK) conductance promotes bursting in pituitary cells: a dynamic clamp study. The Journal of Neuroscience, 31:16855-16863.
- Tabak J, Mascagni M & Bertram R (2010). Mechanism for the universal pattern of activity in developing neuronal networks. Journal of Neurophysiology, 103:1806-1813.
Ongoing Projects & Grants
- The role of leak channels on shaping the electrical activity of pituitary cells. This project combines modelling and electrophysiology, with graduate student Marziyeh Belal.
- Heterogeneity of corticotroph response to CRH and AVP. A modelling project with postdoc Congping Lin and Exeter colleague Jamie Walker.
- Why do BK channels have different effects in different cells? A modelling project with Morten Pedersen from the University of Padova.
- The role of channel stochastically in regulating the electrical activity of endocrine pituitary cells. With Exeter colleagues David Richards and Jamie Walker.
- Applying machine learning to problems in healthcare. Projects with final year students in Medical Sciences and in Natural Sciences.
- Morten Pedersen, University of Padova, Italy
- Richard Bertram and Theo Vo, Florida State University, US
- Mike Shipston, University of Edinburgh
- Jamie Walker, University of Exeter
Research Group Connections