Martial DuFour, Ph.D.

I was born and raised in Paris where I got a bachelor degree in Life Science at the University of Paris 5 Descartes. I moved to Marseille to get a post-graduate master’s degree in Neuroscience and did my internship at the Inserm UMR1072 Aix-Marseille University in Dr. Jean-Marc Goaillard’s lab. During this internship I started using electrophysiology to characterize the biophysical properties of several currents of dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra.

I became really fascinated with electrophysiology, especially on pacemaker neurons, as it gives the opportunity to “see” live and direct events (action potential, synaptic events…). I did my PhD in the same lab where I worked on the postnatal development of intrinsic properties of rat dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra pars compacta. I used immunohistochemistry, electrophysiological and morphological analyses to characterize the main developmental transitions leading to the acquisition of the mature electrical phenotype of dopaminergic neurons and to describe some of the biophysical and morphological changes associated with this electrophysiological maturation.

During my PhD, I became interested in understanding how neuronal activity is controlled and encodes specific information and how this information can be processed in neuronal circuit and lead to a functional behavior. This is why I was very excited to apply for a postdoctoral position in Dr. Basu lab. I have started my postdoctoral fellowship in April 2015 and I will work on the cortico-hippocampal circuit and investigate the role of excitatory and inhibitory projections of the hippocampus in information processing and mnemonic processes in the amygdala and the entorhinal cortex.