Sam A. Booker

My research group is focussed on determining the role of neurotransmitter signalling in local brain circuits through development.

Dr Sam A. Booker

Independent Research Fellow

Hugh Robson Building

15 George Square

Edinburgh EH8 9XD

Contact details


 Web: Booker Research Group


Personal profile

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Edinburgh, UK (2014-2021)

Postdoctoral Researcher, Charite Universitätmedizin, Berlin, Germany (2011-2014)


Synapses, Circuits and Behaviour

Injury and Repair


My research group is focussed on determining the role of neurotransmitter signalling in local brain circuits through development. In particular, we are interested in how diverse forms of GABAergic neurons integrate within circuits during early life, and how sensory experience or genetic alterations (such as in neurodevelopmental disorders) lead to divergent developmental trajectories and network function.

To address this question we use in vitro intracellular and population-level electrophysiological recordings combined with anatomical methods and behavioural assays to determine the structure-function relationship of synapses, neurons, and neuronal networks in the developing brain and in models of neurodevelopmental disorder (e.g. Fragile X Syndrome and SYNGAP haploinsufficiency).


Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain (SIDB)

Team members


Max Wilson (Postdoctoral research fellow)

Ania Sumera (PhD student)

Kalim Aziz (MSc. student)

Angelika Kwiatkowska (Undergraduate student)

Abbi Crichton (Undergraduate student)

Past members:

Emily Winson-Bushby (MSc. Student)

Claire-Louisa Conway (Undergraduate student)

Grace Kennedy (Undergraduate student)

Matthew Shipley (Undergraduate student)

Piotr Kruc (Summer student)


Dr. Emma Wood, University of Edinburgh, UK

Dr. Claire Durrant, University of Edinburgh, UK

Prof. Peter C Kind, University of Edinburgh, UK

Prof. David Wyllie, University of Edinburgh, UK

Prof Akos Kulik, University of Freiburg, Germany

Relevant publications

Booker, S. A., Sumera, A., Kind, P. C., & Wyllie, D. J. (2021). Contribution of NMDA Receptors to Synaptic Function in Rat Hippocampal Interneurons. Eneuro, 8(4).

Booker, S. A., & Wyllie, D. J. (2021). NMDA receptor function in inhibitory neurons. Neuropharmacology, 108609.

Booker, S. A., & Kind, P. C. (2021). Novel insights in plasticity and learning impairments in Fragile X Syndrome. Brain research bulletin.

Oliveira, L. S., Sumera, A., & Booker, S. A. (2021). Repeated whole-cell patch-clamp recording from CA1 pyramidal cells in rodent hippocampal slices followed by axon initial segment labeling. STAR protocols, 2(1), 100336.

Booker, S. A., De Oliveira, L. S., Anstey, N. J., Kozic, Z., Dando, O. R., Jackson, A. D., ... & Kind, P. C. (2020). Input-output relationship of CA1 pyramidal neurons reveals intact homeostatic mechanisms in a mouse model of fragile x syndrome. Cell reports, 32(6), 107988.

Booker, S. A. (2020). Preparing acute brain slices from the dorsal pole of the hippocampus from adult rodents. JoVE (Journal of Visualized Experiments), (163), e61699.

Booker, S. A., Domanski, A. P., Dando, O. R., Jackson, A. D., Isaac, J. T., Hardingham, G. E., ... & Kind, P. C. (2019). Altered dendritic spine function and integration in a mouse model of fragile X syndrome. Nature communications, 10(1), 1-14.

Domanski, A. P., Booker, S. A., Wyllie, D. J., Isaac, J. T., & Kind, P. C. (2019). Cellular and synaptic phenotypes lead to disrupted information processing in Fmr1-KO mouse layer 4 barrel cortex. Nature communications, 10(1), 1-18.

Booker, S. A., Loreth, D., Gee, A. L., Watanabe, M., Kind, P. C., Wyllie, D. J., ... & Vida, I. (2018). Postsynaptic GABABRs inhibit L-type calcium channels and abolish long-term potentiation in hippocampal somatostatin interneurons. Cell reports, 22(1), 36-43.

Booker, S. A., & Vida, I. (2018). Morphological diversity and connectivity of hippocampal interneurons. Cell and tissue research, 373(3), 619-641.


Information for students:

Willingness to discuss research projects with undergraduate and postgraduate students: YES - please click here