Neuromodulation and homeostatic processes

About

The Balbi lab employs a multi-level approach, combining in vivo imaging techniques, brain stimulation—including but not exclusively optogenetics—and individually tailored recovery paradigms in behaving rodents, to investigate intrinsic neuroprotective mechanisms of the brain under pathological conditions such as stroke.

The brain is inarguably the most complex organ in the body, and disruption to brain activity can have fatal consequences for the organism. The brain’s resilience relies on high levels of redundancy to ensure continued function under most circumstances, as well as built-in homeostatic mechanisms to stabilise neural activity and maintain interhemispheric and excitatory/inhibitory balance.

Following stroke, direct tissue damage and disconnection of remote brain areas causes functional disruption that can span multiple domains. Inhibitory neurons have a primary role in post stroke recovery for their ability to modulate brain plasticity in both the perilesional region and remote areas. Our recent work shows that optogenetically induced gamma frequency entrainment, targeting interneurons, offers neuroprotection after stroke.

Our goal is to understand the intrinsic mechanisms of the brain to restore itself and harness them for therapeutic purposes by using a multi-level approach that includes neuronal, systems and behavioural analysis. Our vision is to recruit and enhance the intrinsic neuroprotective mechanisms of the brain through recovery paradigms tailored individually by automated assessment and AI-controlled feedback.
 

Contact

  @matildebalbi

  +61 (0)432 202 911

  m.balbi@uq.edu.au

  balbilab.com

Research Areas

  • Neurodegeneration and protection
  • Stroke recovery
  • Brain oscillations
  • Brain stimulation
  • Imaging
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Behaviour

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Group Leader

Students

 Impairment of cerebrovascular reactivity in response to hypercapnic challenge in a mouse model of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury

Lynch, Cillian E, Eisenbaum, Maxwell, Algamal, Moustafa, Balbi, Matilde, Ferguson, Scott, Mouzon, Benoit, Saltiel, Nicole, Ojo, Joseph, Diaz-Arrastia, Ramon, Mullan, Mike, Crawford, Fiona and Bachmeier, Corbin (2020). Impairment of cerebrovascular reactivity in response to hypercapnic challenge in a mouse model of repetitive mild traumatic brain injury. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. doi: 10.1177/0271678x20954015

Automated task training and longitudinal monitoring of mouse mesoscale cortical circuits using home cages

Murphy, Timothy H., Michelson, Nicholas J., Boyd, Jamie D., Fong, Tony, Bolanos, Luis A., Bierbrauer, David, Siu, Teri, Balbi, Matilde, Bolanos, Federico, Vanni, Matthieu and LeDue, Jeff M. (2020). Automated task training and longitudinal monitoring of mouse mesoscale cortical circuits using home cages. eLife, 9. doi: 10.7554/elife.55964

Longitudinal monitoring of mesoscopic cortical activity in a mouse model of microinfarcts reveals dissociations with behavioral and motor function

Balbi, Matilde, Vanni, Matthieu P., Vega, Max J., Silasi, Gergely, Sekino, Yuki, Boyd, Jamie D., LeDue, Jeffrey M. and Murphy, Timothy H. (2019). Longitudinal monitoring of mesoscopic cortical activity in a mouse model of microinfarcts reveals dissociations with behavioral and motor function. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism, 39 (8), 1486-1500. doi: 10.1177/0271678x18763428