Professor Zafar I Bashir

B.Sc.(N'cle), Ph.D.(Glas.)

  • BS8 1TD

1993 …2019

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Neurones of the brain communicate with one another at specialised junctions, called synapses, through the process of synaptic transmission. Having hundreds or thousands of synapses on individual neurones provides for immense complexity in neuronal signalling. However, a further degree of complexity comes about because the communication between neurones is extremely plastic. This means that the strength of synaptic transmission is not fixed but can be increased or decreased (a process called synaptic plasticity) and this property of synaptic plasticity is one of the crucial processes that enables the brain to learn and to retain memories. Therefore, understanding how synaptic transmission occurs and how it can be regulated and modified is essential if we are to understand the workings of the central nervous system and to understand the processes of learning and memory.

Glutamate is the main transmitter at synapses in the brain and glutamate performs its functions by acting on a variety of different receptors; activation of each of these produces different effects at the synapse. The function of glutamate is also modified by other transmitters, such as acetylcholine. Teasing apart the different roles that these different receptors play and how these different receptors and transmitters interact with one another to produce synaptic plasticity is one of my main interests.

Current Projects

NMDA receptor subunit composition

One of the current projects in the lab is investigating how NMDA receptors differ in their subunit composition between different pathways (perforant path and Schaffer collaterals) that terminate onto CA1 pyramidal neurones in the hippocampus. We are interested in understanding whether differences in NMDA receptors confer different plastic properties on the synapses at the two input pathways to CA1 neurones

Mechanisms of plasticity and memory

To investigate synaptic transmission and plasticity we utilise a variety of in vitro techniques (molecular, electrophysiology, pharmacology) in the hippocampus, perirhinal and prefrontal cortex, depending on the precise questions. In collaboration with other groups we can then use this knowledge to investigate how mechanisms of plasticity are involved in learning and memory; see for an example of how this multi-disciplinary approach works.

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Research Output

  • 33 Article (Academic Journal)
  • 5 Conference Contribution (Conference Proceeding)
  • 2 Conference Abstract
  • 1 Chapter in a book

Using scalp EEG and intracranial EEG signals for predicting epileptic seizures: Review of available methodologies

Usman, S. M., Khalid, S., Akhtar, R., Bortolotto, Z., Bashir, Z. & Qiu, H., 1 Oct 2019, In : Seizure. 71, p. 258-269 12 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    10 Downloads (Pure)

    Muscarinic Receptor Modulation of the Cerebellar Interpositus Nucleus In Vitro

    Pickford, J., Apps, R. & Bashir, Z., 16 Aug 2018, In : Neurochemical Research. 9 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 240 Downloads (Pure)

    Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors Control Encoding and Retrieval of Associative Recognition Memory through Plasticity in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex

    Sabec, M. H., Wonnacott, S., Warburton, E. C. & Bashir, Z. I., 27 Mar 2018, In : Cell Reports. 22, 13, p. 3409-3415 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)

    Open Access
  • 6 Citations (Scopus)
    229 Downloads (Pure)


    • 1 Fellowship awarded competitively

    Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship - The hippocampal-perirhinal-prefrontal cortex circuitry.

    Zafar I Bashir (Recipient)

    1 Oct 20131 Oct 2014

    Activity: Other activity typesFellowship awarded competitively

    Supervised Work

    Excitatory and Inhibitory Transmission in Prefrontal Cortex

    Author: Bykowska, O., 25 Jun 2019

    Supervisor: Bashir, Z. (Supervisor) & Houghton, C. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy (PhD)


    Molecular mechanisms regulating NMDA receptor trafficking

    Author: Tang, T. T., 2009

    Supervisor: Bashir, Z. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Education (EdD)