Previous page Nelson REBOLA PhD, CR1, CNRS Team "Cellular mechanisms of sensory processing"


Rebola Nelson, born on 16th september 1979 in Portugal, is a Junior Group Leader at the Paris Brain Institute. He graduated in Biochemistry at the University of Lisbon in 2002, and got a PhD degree in Biology with honour and distinction at the University of Coimbra in 2008.
  • Education and professional curricula
  • 2017/present : Junior Group Leaderat Paris Brain Institute
  • 2012/2017 : CR1, Unit of Dynamic Neuronal Imaging, CNRS URA 2182, Institut Pasteur (in mission from unit CNRS UMR 5297)
  • 2010/2012 : CR2, eCNRS UMR 5297, Bordeaux, France
  • 2008/2010 : Postdoctoral fellow CNRS 5091 (EMBO fellowship), Bordeaux, France (Supervisor: Christophe Mulle)
  • 2005/2008 : Visiting scientist CNRS 5091 (Collaboration with Christophe Mulle Lab)
  • 2003/2008 : PhD student (Center for Neuroscience of Coimbra) (Supervisor: Rodrigo Cunha)
  • 2002/03 : Project investigator (POCTI 43663/99), Center for Neurosciences

Research work

The human brain is composed by millions of neurons that communicate with each other using an even greater number of synapses. An open question is how those neurons with all its connections give rise to most of animal and human behavior? In the lab we investigate the cellular and network mechanisms at the origin of sensory perception. From the drowsiness of a daydreaming commuter in his suburb train, to the heightened vigilance of a rock climber executing a difficult move, sensation during wakefulness takes place under drastically different conditions, themselves associated to various perceptual outcomes. A remarkable property of sensory systems is therefore to provide a flexible strategy to process afferent information in a context-dependent manner. Such a flexibility in the computation of incoming signals appears to be a key feature of cortical processing in the healthy brain. Indeed, reduced context-dependent sensory processing and adaptability underlies several brain disorders like Schizophrenia and Depression. Yet, the combination of circuit and cellular features shaping such modulations is still poorly understood. In the lab we use a multidisciplinary approach, involving, electrophysiology, brain imaging (two-photon), optogenetics both in vivo and in vitro as well as computer modeling to understand how neuronal networks process sensory information and how this process is influenced by context. Working in the primary somatosensory cortex of mice we try to identify previously unnoticed cellular mechanisms that are essential for information processing by the brain. Our goal is also to investigate how such cellular mechanisms are modified or altered in the pathological brain and eventually uncover new molecular targets with potential therapeutical value.


  • Rebola N, Reva M, Kirizs T, Szoboszlay M, Lorincz A, Moneron G, Nusser Z, DiGregorio DA, Distinct Nanoscale Calcium Channel and Synaptic Vesicle Topographies Contribute to the Diversity of Synaptic Function. Neuron 2019, Neuron. 2019 Nov 20;104(4):693-710.e9. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2019.08.014. Epub 2019 Sep 23
  • Vergnano AM*, Rebola N*, Savtchenko L*, Casado M, Kieffer B, Rusakov D, Mulle C and Paoletti P, Zinc dynamics and action at excitatory synapses, Neuron 2014, 82(5):1101-14. *-Co-first authors
  • Carta M*, Lanore F*, Rebola N*, Szabo Z, Viana Da Silva S, Lourenço J, Verraes A, Nadler A, Schultz C, Blanchet C, Mulle, C. Membrane lipids tune synaptic transmission by direct modulation of presynaptic potassium channels, Neuron. 2014, 81(4):787-99. *-Co-first authors
  • Rebola N, Carta M, Lanore F, Blanchet C, Mulle C. NMDA receptor-dependent metaplasticity at hippocampal mossy fiber synapses. Nature Neurosci. 2011Jun.;14(6):691–3.
  • Rebola N, Luján R, Cunha RA, Mulle C. Adenosine A2A Receptors Are Essential for Long-Term Potentiation of NMDA-EPSCs at Hippocampal Mossy Fiber Synapses. Neuron. 2008 Jan.;57(1):121–34.