Frances Skinner CRANIA

Frances Skinner is a Senior Scientist at the Krembil Research Institute and a Professor at the University of Toronto. She graduated from the University of Waterloo (B.Math.) with a double honours in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science, and from the University of Toronto in Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering (M.A.Sc., Ph.D.). From there she got immersed in Computational Neuroscience and Neurobiology fields doing postdoctoral studies on the east (Brandeis University) and west (University of California, Davis) coasts of the US before returning to Toronto as an independent scientist at the Krembil (formerly the Toronto Western Research Institute/Playfair Neuroscience Unit). She enjoys collaborative work and is interested in determining cellular-based mechanisms underlying the dynamic output of neuronal networks in normal and pathological states. She is particularly interested in creating win-win scenarios with the plethora of data and theoretical and experimental approaches available today.

  • Senior Scientist (Krembil, UHN)
  • Professor, University of Toronto
  • Frances Skinner has strong research interests in creating bidirectional links between models and experiments. The work in her lab involves: (i) establishing intimate links with experimental studies to allow mathematical models with a neurological and pathophysiological functional basis to be developed, and (ii) simulating and analyzing developed mathematical models to enable insights and predictions to emerge. At present, there is a strong focus on the hippocampus, with a specialization on inhibitory GABAergic cells, and in the context of physiologically relevant population activity outputs of theta and gamma rhythms. This is being expanded to include the cortex. Inhibitory cells and networks have been found to play critical roles in learning and memory as well as in pathological conditions such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. The work is highly inter-disciplinary and collaborative by nature.