• Zoology
  • Research Focus


  • Synaptic Function
  • Ligand-Gated Ion Channel
  • Equipment & Techniques

  • Behavioural analysis
  • Electrophysiological recording techniques
  • Confocal microscopy
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    Dr Iris Hardege

    University Position
    Royal Society University Research Fellow
    Dr Iris Hardege is pleased to consider applications from prospective PhD students.


    The basics of neural communication is conserved across species, with neurotransmitters acting as messengers across synapses. My work focusses on the receptors for these neurotransmitters and understanding their diversity and function with the nervous system of the model organism C. elegans. The nematode C. elegans is a powerful model organism, having a small and completely mapped nervous system and genome, allowing us to probe the detailed mechanisms of these receptors within a whole organism. I am particularly interested in ion channel receptors and understanding the way in which their balance at the synapses effects circuits and learning.

    Key Publications

    A novel and functionally diverse class of acetylcholine-gated ion channels

    Journal: Journal of Neuroscience
    Year: 2023
    Authors: Iris Hardege, Julia Morud, Amy Courtney, William R Schafer

    Neuronally produced betaine acts via a ligand-gated ion channel to control behavioral states

    Journal: PNAS
    Year: 2022
    Authors: Iris Hardege, Julia Morud, Jingfang Yu, Tatiana S Wilson, Frank C Schroeder, William R Schafer

    Deorphanization of novel biogenic amine-gated ion channels identifies a new serotonin receptor for learning

    Journal: Current Biology
    Year: 2021
    Authors: Julia Morud, Iris Hardege, He Liu, Taihong Wu, Myung-Kyu Choi, Swaraj Basu, Yun Zhang, William R Schafer