Zoltan Molnar MD DPhil
Zoltán Molnár obtained his M.D. at the Albert Szent-Györgyi Medical University, Szeged, Hungary where he started his residency in Neurological Surgery until he moved to Oxford in 1989. He obtained his D.Phil. at the University Laboratory of Physiology in the laboratory of C. Blakemore studying the multiple mechanisms in the establishment of thalamocortical innervation. He continued his work on cerebral cortical development at Oxford as an MRC training fellow and Junior Research Fellow at Merton College. He also investigated thalamocortical development working with E. Welker at the Institut de Biologie Cellulaire et de Morphologie, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, and learned optical recording techniques to understand early functional thalamocortical interactions in the laboratory of K. Toyama at Kyoto Prefectural School of Medicine, Japan. He was appointed to a University Lecturer position at the Department of Human Anatomy and Genetics associated with a Tutorship at St John's College, Oxford from 2000.
Zoltán Molnár’s research focus is on the cerebral cortical development. It seeks to decipher how cerebral cortical neural cell fates are determined (with special attention in the earliest generated cells in the subplate and in the large pyramidal cells of layer 5), and how development of cortical functional specialisation (arealization) is determined by genetic and environmental factors. The arealization of the mammalian cortex is believed to be controlled by a combination of intrinsic factors that are expressed in the cortex, and external signals, some of which are mediated through thalamic input. Members of Zoltán Molnár’s research group study the development of the cortical connectivity in this context. Recent studies have identified families of molecules that are involved in thalamic axon growth, pathfinding and cortical target selection, and the mechanisms of cytoarchitectonic differentiation imposed by thalamic projections on the developing cortex. Greater understanding of these basic neurobiological problems could solve numerous questions relating to cortical development as well as to the prevention and treatment of many neurological and psychiatric disorders (e.g. childhood epilepsy, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism) that affect millions of people of all ages at tremendous cost to the national economy.
Further information can be found at Molnar Research