ESR 5 - Antonia Yam

Hosted at DZNE

ESR5 round

I did my undergraduate's degree in neuroscience, in Bristol, UK (2008-2011), where I then specialised in molecular neuroscience (2012-2013) during my Master's degree. My research interests lie in the areas of neurodegenerative diseases and neurology disorders. I gained experience in high content screening and multi-electrode array (MEAs) slice recording when I worked as a research assistant in Hong Kong.

I am working on applying MEAs recording to investigate the effects of ECM changes in epileptogenesis in my present ESR5 project.

ECM-associated glycans in epileptiform activity in vitro


Status epilepticus (SE) induces changes in the expression of ECM molecules and ECM degrading proteases in the brain. These alterations lead to a reduction in aggrecan-rich perineuronal network, an extracellular structure that protects fast spiking interneurons from oxidative stress and regulate their excitability. Previous research in our group has shown that enzymatic degradation of ECM molecules such as hyaluronic acid and heparin sulphates led to epileptiform activity in vitro.


1.  To characterize changes in ECM during induction of epileptiform activity in hippocampal cell cultures;

2. To evaluate if ECM stabilising treatments may prevent or modify development of epileptiform activity in vitro.


Pharmacological treatments are used to induce epileptiform activity in hippocampal cell culture. The network activity is recorded using multielectrode arrays. Changes in the ECM are characterised by immunocytochemistry and biochemical studies. After the ECM stabilising treatment, further analysis is carried out to investigate the electrophysiological and biochemical changes.


To characterise changes in the ECM in vitro, we will collaborate with LIN to carry out biochemical analysis and high-resolution STED microscopy imaging.

High electrophysiology system (CMOS-MEA) will also be used in this project. We will collaborate with IIT for the CMOS-MEA techniques in cell culture and brain slices.

Current Activity

Antonia is working at DZNE on her PhD theses.

Page last modified on 21 may 19 11:13