Professor Attila Sik

Image of Professor Attila Sik

Institute of Clinical Sciences
Professor of Cellular Neuroscience

Contact details

+44(0)121 414 6018
+44(0)121 414 7625
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Institute of Clinical Sciences
College of Medical and Dental Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Attila Sik (pronounced “sheek”) is Professor of Cellular Neurophysiology. He has published several book chapters, 60 research articles in scientific journals, 80 abstracts and has been an invited speaker at over 60 international presentations. His research papers have been cited over 6,500 times. Attila has received major national grants in Hungary, Canada (Canada Foundation for Innovation, Canadian Institutes of Health Research), UK (Medical Research Council) and international grant form Human Frontiers Science Program.


  • MBA Creativity and Leadership, 2014
  • PhD (summa cum laude) Neuroscience, 1997
  • MSc Biology and Chemistry, 1991
  • PDE/PgD Pedagogy, 1991
  • BSc Biology, Chemistry, 1990


Professor Sik has extensive teaching experience including:

In Canada

  • Development of functional neuroanatomy, electrophysiology and research method courses in the Neuroscience field

In the UK

  • Neurobiology seminars; PhD course
  • Neuroscience
  • Neuropharmacology
  • MRes in vivo course
  • Research Taster
  • Neurobiology of the Brain, BMedSci module
  • The pharmaceutical SME: corporate governance, legal & finance (Module Coordinator)

Postgraduate supervision

Using oxygen probes and multichannel recording methods, Attila Sik’s team is investigating the changes of cortical network oscillations in altered oxygen concentrations in vitro and in vivo, the underlying cellular mechanisms and the effect of altered oxygen on working memory. It also examines the relationship between network activity and NO and pH fluctuations using similar techniques.

The team is also investigating the activity-dependent Cl-redistribution mechanism in the hippocampus using Cl-sensitive probes and studying the mechanism of the anti-epileptic effect of gap junction blockers using transgenic animals, viral methods and multichannel recording.

Professor Sik's team further explores the role of long-range inhibitory neurons in hippocampal network oscillations. It studies the neuroanatomical characteristics of long-projection neurons, the electrophysiological nature of these cells in vivo and the effect of elimination of these neurons in network synchronisation.

Other activities

  • Editor-in-Chief: Open Access Neuroscience London, 2012-2015
  • Advisory board: Brain Structure and Function
  • Guest Editor: Information Fusion in Neuronal Signal Processing
  • Guest Editor: Computers in Biology and Medicine

Committee and Council membership, directorship

  • Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, Governing Council Member (2014-)
  • British Neuroscience Association, Treasurer (Council member, Trustees) (2014-)
  • British Neuroscience Association Charity, Director (2014-)
  • British Neuroscience Association Events Ltd, Director, (2014-)
  • British Neuroscience Association, Fundraising committee chair (2014-)
  • Publication Integrity an Ethics, Founding council member, (2013-)
  • British Neuroscience Association, National Committee, Publications Secretary (2011-13)

Committee member/reviewer:

  • Agence Nationale de la Recherché (France)
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK)
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research (Canada)
  • Centre de Recherché sur le cerveau, le comportement et la neuropsychiatrie (Canada)
  • Epilepsy Research (UK)
  • Human Frontiers Science Program (International)
  • Medical Research Council (UK)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (Canada)
  • The Foundation for Polish Science (Poland)

International Conference/Symposium Organizer

  • Festival of Neuroscience, 2015, Edinburgh, Program Committee
  • International Union of Physiological Sciences, 2013, Organizer and Chair (Network oscillations: binding brain areas to functional structures)
  • Festival of Neuroscience, 2017, Birmingham, Program Committee
  • Federation of European Neuroscience Societies, 2020, Glasgow, Program Committee

Professional memberships:

  • 2014- International Management Research Academy
  • 2011- British Neuroscience Association
  • 2011- The Physiological Society, UK
  • 2007- American Physiological Society
  • 2002- Microscopy Society of America
  • 1997- Society for Neuroscience
  • 1997-2001 Hungarian Neuroscience Association
  • 1997- European Neuroscience Association
  • 1991-1996 Hungarian Electron microscopy Association 


Recent publications


Szep, D, Dittrich, B, Gorbe, A, Szentpeteri, JL, Aly, N, Jin, M, Budan, F, Sik, A & Biagini, G (ed.) 2023, 'A comparative study to optimize experimental conditions of pentylenetetrazol and pilocarpine-induced epilepsy in zebrafish larvae', PLoS ONE, vol. 18, no. 7, e0288904.

Basu, K, Appukuttan, S, Manchanda, R & Sik, A 2023, 'Difference in axon diameter and myelin thickness between excitatory and inhibitory callosally projecting axons in mice', Cerebral Cortex, vol. 33, no. 7, bhac329, pp. 4101–4115.

Jin, M, Shi, R, Gao, D, Wang, B, Li, N, Li, X, Sik, A, Liu, K & Zhang, X 2023, 'ErbB2 pY ‐1248 as a predictive biomarker for Parkinson's disease based on research with RPPA technology and in vivo verification', CNS Neuroscience & Therapeutics.

Gao, X, Zhang, B, Zheng, Y, Liu, X, Rostyslav, P, Finiuk, N, Sik, A, Stoika, R, Liu, K & Jin, M 2023, 'Neuroprotective effect of chlorogenic acid on Parkinson's disease like symptoms through boosting the autophagy in zebrafish', European Journal of Pharmacology, vol. 956, 175950.

Wang, M, Ye, H, Jiang, P, Liu, J, Wang, B, Zhang, S, Sik, A, Li, N, Liu, K & Jin, M 2023, 'The alleviative effect of Calendula officinalis L. extract against Parkinson’s disease-like pathology in zebrafish via the involvement of autophagy activation', Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 17, 1153889.

Shang, X, Ji, X, Dang, J, Wang, L, Sun, C, Liu, K, Sik, A & Jin, M 2020, 'α-asarone induces cardiac defects and QT prolongation through mitochondrial apoptosis pathway in zebrafish', Toxicology Letters, vol. 324, pp. 1-11.

Hadzhiev, Y, Qureshi, HK, Wheatley, L, Cooper, L, Jasiulewicz, A, Van Nguyen, H, Wragg, JW, Poovathumkadavil, D, Conic, S, Bajan, S, Sik, A, Hutvàgner, G, Tora, L, Gambus, A, Fossey, JS & Müller, F 2019, 'A cell cycle-coordinated Polymerase II transcription compartment encompasses gene expression before global genome activation', Nature Communications, vol. 10, no. 1, 691, pp. 691.

Crowcombe, J, Dhillon, SS, Hurst, RM, Egginton, S, Müller, F, Sík, A & Tarte, E 2016, '3D Finite Element Electrical Model of Larval Zebrafish ECG Signals', PLoS ONE, vol. 11, no. 11, e0165655.

Zeng, K, Yan, J, Wang, Y, Sik, A, Ouyang, G & Li, X 2016, 'Automatic detection of absence seizures with compressive sensing EEG', Neurocomputing, vol. 171, pp. 497-502.

Kovács, K, Basu, K, Rouiller, I & Sík, A 2014, 'Regional differences in the expression of K+–Cl 2 cotransporter in the developing rat cortex', Brain structure & function, vol. 219, no. 2, pp. 527-538.

Ferecskó, AS, Jiruska, P, Foss, L, Powell, AD, Chang, W-C, Sik, A & Jefferys, JGR 2014, 'Structural and functional substrates of tetanus toxin in an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy', Brain structure & function, pp. 1-17.

Dhillon, SS, Dóró, É, Magyary, I, Egginton, S, Sík, A & Mueller, F 2013, 'Optimisation of Embryonic and Larval ECG Measurement in Zebrafish for Quantifying the Effect of QT Prolonging Drugs', PLoS ONE, vol. 8, no. 4, e60552.

Gharanei, S, Zatyka, M, Astuti, D, Fenton, J, Sik, A, Nagy, Z & Barrett, TG 2013, 'Vacuolar-type H+-ATPase V1A subunit is a molecular partner of Wolfram syndrome 1 (WFS1) protein, which regulates its expression and stability', Human Molecular Genetics, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 203-17.

Shinohara, Y, Hosoya, A, Yahagi, K, Ferecsko, AS, Yaguchi, K, Sik, A, Itakura, M, Takahashi, M & Hirase, H 2012, 'Hippocampal CA3 and CA2 have distinct bilateral innervation patterns to CA1 in rodents', European Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 702-710.

Blanch, RJ, Ahmed, Z, Sik, A, Snead, DRJ, Good, PA, O'Neill, J, Berry, M, Scott, RAH & Logan, A 2012, 'Neuroretinal cell death in a murine model of closed globe injury: pathological and functional characterization', Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science (IOVS), vol. 53, no. 11, pp. 7220-6.

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