The overall interest in Professor Danbolt’s research group at the Department of Anatomy, University of Oslo, is the control of neurotransmitter concentrations and diffusion in the extracellular space in between synapses in the central nervous system. My research has focused on the transporter proteins moving the transmitter amino acids (GABA and glutamate) across cell membranes, and on the roles of these transporter proteins in normal brain physiology and temporal lobe epilepsy. Changes in transporter function and expression have been reported in all neurological diseases, and these changes appear to be part of the pathogenetic processes ultimately leading to nerve cell damage and neurological and psychological disabilities (for review see: Danbolt, 2001).
In 1999 I applied for a summer research scholarship that was announced by the Norwegian Research Council. Professor Jon Storm-Mathisen at the Department of Anatomy was my lecturer and I had talked to him about starting research. I did not get the scholarship, but Professor Storm-Mathisen wanted students in his lab and he gave me economic compensation for doing research in his lab that summer. My project was to study changes in expression of glutamate and GABA injection of amphetamine. For an inexperienced researcher like me it turned out to be a project way over my head, but that summer I really got a good introduction to basic lab techniques.
After that summer I started to work as a Medical Student Research Fellow under Professor Niels Chr. Danbolt and gradually during my year at Medical School I felt more competent as a researcher. I have contributed on different projects that involved transporter expression after immobilization stress, corticosterone injections (see abstract 1), and worked on developing an ELISA procedure using a immobilization stress project was presented as a poster on the International Society for Neurochemistry 18th Biennial Meeting, Buenos Aires, Argentina, and the ELISA procedure was later used to test antibody specificity (Paper 2). My main project at Professor Danbolt’s lab was later localization and quantification of the two GABA transporters in the rat brain (unpublished). This research project is in collaboration with Prof. D. Furness form Keele, UK.