Research Director
ED 158 ED 474
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Electrophysiological recording and 2-photon imaging of the impact of inhibitory interneurons on information flow through a neuronal microcircuit


This team employs a multidisciplinary approach including physical methods (optics), mathematical methods (statistical treatment of data and modelling) as well as chemical methods (synthesis of new...


Alain Marty was born in 1949 in Montbéliard (eastern France). After studies at the Ecole Polytechnique he did his thesis work in Paris on biophysical properties of acetylcholine-gated channels in the marine mollusc Aplysia (thesis adviser, Philippe Ascher). He worked as a postdoc in Göttingen in the laboratory of Erwin Neher in 1980-1982, and participated then to the development of the patch-clamp technique. He led an independent group at the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris from 1982 to 1994, working on calcium homeostasis in acinar cells of exocrine glands (1982-1990) and then on patch-clamp studies in brain slices (1991-1994). He has kept this theme of research since then, first as head of a team at the Max Planck Institut für biophysikalische Chemie in Göttingen (1994 to 2000), and more recently as head of a CNRS Unit at the Université Paris 5 (2001-present).

Alain Marty’s contributions include the demonstration of a coupling between ion channel permeation and gating in acetylcholine-sensitive channels; a participation in the development of the patch-clamp method (in particular, measurement of cell capacitance; perforated patch recording); the discovery of BK channels in chromaffin cells, and of Ca-dependent Cl channels in acinar exocrine cells; the discovery of DSI and rebound potentiation (two novel forms of synaptic plasticity at central synapses); the demonstration of multivesicular release at central gabaergic synapses; the description of spontaneous calcium transients in axons and synaptic terminals of central gabaergic neurons.