BiographyDr. Cian McCafferty is a lecturer and principal investigator at University College Cork, working in the department of Anatomy & Neuroscience and as faculty in APC Microbiome Ireland. He graduated from UCC with a B.Sc. (Hons) in Neuroscience in 2010, and from Cardiff University with a Ph.D. in experimental electrophysiology of epilepsy in 2014. For his doctoral research, Dr. McCafferty investigated the activity of thalamic neurons during absence seizures in a rat model, and the contributions of thalamic T-type calcium channels to the electrographical and behavioural components of the seizures.
After a year of postdoctoral research in Cardiff University, Dr. McCafferty pursued an Epilepsy Foundation postdoctoral fellowship in Yale University. He expanded this initial fellowship into 4 years of postdoctoral research at Yale into neuronal and network mechanism of absence seizure behavioural severity, researching the hemodynamic and electrophysiological changes in the cerebral cortex associated with the behavioural severity of experimental absence seizures.
Dr. McCafferty's current research at UCC and APC Microbiome Ireland focuses on the patterns of neuronal and network activity that determine behaviour, with a particular interest in those mechanisms that mediate the influence of the gut microbiome on anxiety, mood and cognition.
Research InterestsDr. McCafferty's research interests all relate to the determination of behaviour and experience by the activity of individual neurons and functional networks:
Absence epilepsy: the study of how relevant neurons and networks initiate brain state-changes from normal to seizing; how the component neuronal populations of functional circuits interact to create paroxysmal seizure oscillations; how sensory input, cognitive processing and motor output are impaired during seizure, leading to overall impaired behaviour; how patterns of neuronal activity are related to and determine the degree of behavioural impairment during a seizure; how the relationship between neuronal activity and hemodynamics evolves during the time around and during an absence seizure.
Microbiome-gut-brain axis: how neuronal and network activity is changed downstream of alterations to the microbiome, both positive and negative; how these changes in brain activity go on to determine changes in the experience and behaviour of people with disorders of mood, anxiety and cognition.
Peer Reviewed Journals
|(2019)||'Increased amygdalar metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 mRNA in a genetic mouse model of impaired fear extinction' |
O'Connor RM1, McCafferty CP, Bravo JA, Singewald N, Holmes A, Cryan JF (2019) 'Increased amygdalar metabotropic glutamate receptor 7 mRNA in a genetic mouse model of impaired fear extinction'. Psychopharmacology, 236 (1) [DOI] [Details]
|(2018)||'Genetic rescue of absence seizures' |
McCafferty C;Connelly WM;Celli R;Ngomba RT;Nicoletti F;Crunelli V; (2018) 'Genetic rescue of absence seizures'. CNS Neuroscience and Therapeutics, 24 (8) [DOI] [Details]
|(2018)||'Cortical drive and thalamic feed-forward inhibition control thalamic output synchrony during absence seizures' |
McCafferty C, David F, Venzi M, Lőrincz ML, Delicata F, Atherton Z, Recchia G, Orban G, Lambert RC, Di Giovanni G, Leresche N, Crunelli V (2018) 'Cortical drive and thalamic feed-forward inhibition control thalamic output synchrony during absence seizures'. Nature Neuroscience, 21 (5) [DOI] [Details]
|(2017)||'Seizures and Sleep in the Thalamus: Focal Limbic Seizures Show Divergent Activity Patterns in Different Thalamic Nuclei' |
Feng L, Motelow JE, Ma C, Biche W, McCafferty C, Smith N, Liu M, Zhan Q, Jia R, Xiao B, Duque A, Blumenfeld H (2017) 'Seizures and Sleep in the Thalamus: Focal Limbic Seizures Show Divergent Activity Patterns in Different Thalamic Nuclei'. Journal of Neuroscience, 37 (47) [DOI] [Details]
|(2017)||'Restoring Conscious Arousal During Focal Limbic Seizures with Deep Brain Stimulation' |
Kundishora AJ;Gummadavelli A;Ma C;Liu M;McCafferty C;Schiff ND;Willie JT;Gross RE;Gerrard J;Blumenfeld H; (2017) 'Restoring Conscious Arousal During Focal Limbic Seizures with Deep Brain Stimulation'. Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 27 (3) [DOI] [Details]
|(2015)||'Optogenetic stimulation of cholinergic brainstem neurons during focal limbic seizures: Effects on cortical physiology' |
Furman M;Zhan Q;McCafferty C;Lerner BA;Motelow JE;Meng J;Ma C;Buchanan GF;Witten IB;Deisseroth K;Cardin JA;Blumenfeld H; (2015) 'Optogenetic stimulation of cholinergic brainstem neurons during focal limbic seizures: Effects on cortical physiology'. Epilepsia, 56 (12) [DOI] [Details]
|(2013)||'GABAB Receptors Regulate Extrasynaptic GABAA Receptors' |
Connelly WM;Fyson SJ;Errington AC;McCafferty CP;Cope DW;Di Giovanni G;Crunelli V; (2013) 'GABAB Receptors Regulate Extrasynaptic GABAA Receptors'. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33 (9) [DOI] [Details]
Honours and Awards
|2015||Postdoctoral Fellowship||Epilepsy Foundation|
|2014||Cardiff University||Ph.D.||Experimental electrophysiology of absence seizures|
|2010||University College Cork||B.Sc. (Hons)||Neuroscience|
Teaching InterestsDr. McCafferty is interested in the application of backward design and active learning principles to achieve goal-oriented learning: the identification of students' goals and desired post-education activities, and the construction of teaching and learning materials and methods to best bring students towards those goals.
His teaching in the Neuroscience (CK402) and Medical and Health Sciences (CK707) programs aims to equip students to apply broad scientific principles to their lives and careers, focusing on the interpretation of scientific data in its various forms as well as the design of experiments to address outstanding scientific questions and the effective presentation of the ensuing data. Dr. McCafferty also teaches Neuroscience students in his specific areas of research interest, including epilepsy, consciousness, and awareness.
|Name||Organisation / Institute||Country|
|Dr. Hal Blumenfeld||Yale University||U.S.A.|
|Professor Vincenzo Crunelli||Cardiff University||UNITED KINGDOM|