Associate Professor, Dept. of Neurological Surgery;
Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Pharmacology and Global Health;
Principle Investigator, Seattle Children’s Research Institute
Neuroscience Focus Areas:
Excitable Membranes and Synaptic Transmission, Disorders of the Nervous System, & Neural Circuits
Research in the Kalume lab is focused on understanding the pathophysiological basis of genetic epilepsies and their co-morbid conditions. The goal is to pave the way for the discovery of future therapeutic approaches for these disorders. The lab current research projects are centered on studies of the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying sudden unexpected death in Leigh syndrome (LS), a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder. LS is strongly associated with loss-of-function mutations in NDUFS4, the gene that encodes a subunit of the protein complex I in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. The Kalume lab uses innovative approaches that combine behavioral assays, patch-clamp electrophysiology, electroencephalography, electrocardiography, plethysmography, immunohistochemistry, and mouse genetic techniques to identify changes in neuronal and network excitability that causes epilepsy and associated conditions in LS. Other work consists of studies of (1) mechanisms of epilepsy in PIK3CA-related to disorders of brain malformations and (2) the impact of non-pharmacological manipulations of sleep and circadian rhythm on seizures and SUDEP in Dravet syndrome.