Anthony Umpierre, PhD
Department of Neurology
Dr. Umpierre is interested in how glial cells shape neuronal circuits in the basal state and during the pathological progression towards epilepsy. In his graduate work, he studied how astrocytes heighten their sensitivity to neuronal glutamate release after status epilepticus—a prolonged seizure condition that may precipitate epilepsy development. In response, astrocytes increase their glutamate uptake in the latent period preceding epilepsy, representing a potentially neuroprotective mechanism. In his postdoctoral work, he studies the role of purinergic signaling in shaping microglial responses to shifts in neuronal activity across a physiological and pathophysiological range. His work focuses on calcium signaling in brain slice and awake mice using two-photon microscopy to study glial function, combined with pharmacology, single-cell recording, EEG, and chemogenetic approaches.