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Associate Members

Dr. Joseph Valentino Raimondo MBChB (Cape Town) MSc (Oxford) DPhil Neuroscience (Oxford)

Neurophysiology Research Group

Joseph Raimondo

Research Fellow, Division of Physiology, Department of Human Biology, Faculty of Health Sciences, UCT
& Associate Member of the Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine (IDM)

Key areas of expertise:
Neurophysiology, epilepsy, synaptic transmission, plasticity, neurocysticercosis, patch-clamp electrophysiology, optical imaging, neuronal biophysics

Joseph Raimondo is a neuroscientist who investigates brain function and dysfunction using electrophysiological, optical imaging and computational approaches. His career ambition is to produce outstanding research of both local and global relevance, whilst developing African capacity in cellular neurophysiology and computational neuroscience. The primary aim of his research group is to answer the question: ‘Why do brains seize?’ To do so they examine the cellular and circuit level interactions between brain cells, which result in the development of epileptic seizures. They attempt to utilise a ‘first principles approach’ to make predictions that can be tested experimentally. They have a strong focus on causes of epilepsy relevant to the African context, such as epilepsy secondary to cerebral tape worm infection (neurocysticercosis).


Selected publications:

Raimondo, J.V., Tomes, H., Irkle, A., Kay, L., Kellaway, L., Markram, H., Millar, R.P., Akerman, C.J.
2016 Tight Coupling of Astrocyte pH Dynamics to Epileptiform Activity Revealed by Genetically-Encoded pH Sensors (In press at Journal of Neuroscience).

Raimondo, J.V., Burman R.J., Katz, A.A., Akerman C.J.
2015 Ionic dynamics during seizures
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 9, 419.

Ellender, T.J.*, Raimondo, J.V.*, Irkle, I., Akerman, C.J.,
2014 Excitatory effects of parvalbuminexpressing interneurons sustain seizure activity via synchronous after discharges
Journal of Neuroscience 34(46):15208-22 [*Co-first Author].

Raimondo, J.V., Joyce, B., Kay, L., Schlagheck, T., Newey, S.E., Srinivas, S., Akerman, C.J.,
2013 A genetically-encoded chloride and pH sensor for dissociating ion dynamics in the nervous system.
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 7:202

Raimondo, J.V., Kay, L., Ellender, T.J., Akerman, C.J.,
2012 Optogenetic silencing strategies differ in their effects on inhibitory synaptic transmission.
Nature Neuroscience. doi:10.1038/nn.3143.

Raimondo, J.V., Irkle, A., Wefelmeyer, W., Newey, S.E., Akerman, C.J.,
2012 Genetically encoded proton sensors reveal activity-dependent pH changes in neurons.
Frontiers inMolecular Neuroscience 5: 68.


Contact details:

Division of Physiological Sciences
Department of Human Biology
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town
Observatory 7925
Republic of South Africa

Tel:  +27 83 794 1986


Alternate sites:


Group members


Hayley Tomes (PhD student)

Christopher Currin (PhD student)

Richard Burman (MSc student)

Anja de Lange (MSc student)

Kira Dusterwald (MSc student)

Buchule Mbobo (MSc student with Muazzam Jacobs)



Paul Steyn (Senior Research Technician)



Colin Akerman (University of Oxford, UK)

Andrew Trevelyan (Newcastle University, UK)

Henry Markram (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)

Alan Kay (University of Iowa, USA)

Robert Wykes (University College London, UK)

Muazzam Jacobs (Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, University of Cape Town, RSA)

William Horsnell (Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, University of Cape Town, RSA)

Robert Millar (University of Pretoria and Division of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, RSA)

Arieh Katz (Division of Chemical & Systems Biology, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, RSA)

Susan Kidson (Department of Human Biology, University of Cape Town, RSA)

Jonathan Blackburn (Division of Chemical & Systems Biology, Department of Integrative Biomedical Sciences, University of Cape Town, RSA)

Graham Fieggen, (Division of Neurosurgery, University of Cape Town)