PositionsJefferys John

SCR Member at Brasenose College

Professor of Physiology, 2nd Medical Faculty, Charles University, Prague

Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences 

Fellow of the American Epilepsy Society


BSc, PhD, FMedSci, FAES


Undergraduate and postgraduate training was in Physiology at University College London, followed by research positions at the Royal Free Hospital (in Neurology), Institute of Neurology (Queen Square, London; in Neurophysiology), Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine at St Mary’s Medical School (as Wellcome Senior Lecturer in Physiology and Biophysics). First tenured faculty position was as Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Birmingham, initially in the Department of Physiology, then the Division of Neuroscience (including 4 years as Head of Division) and finally in the School of Clinical and Experimental Medicine. Move to Oxford was to focus on research, and particularly to promote translational research in epilepsy. On reaching retirement age in Oxford, took up part-time professorial position in, and moved lab to, the Physiology Department in the 2nd Medical Faculty of the Charles University in Prague.

Research Interests

Jefferys’ expertise is in the cellular physiology of neurons of the hippocampus and cortex, their organisation into functional networks. The principles that govern the operation of local circuits and assemblies of neurons are fundamental for understanding normal brain function, providing a pivotal link between cellular and molecular studies on the one hand, and the behaviour of the whole organism on the other. They are directly relevant to coherent physiological oscillations in the normal brain and to the pathological neuronal synchronisation found in the epilepsies. Current work mainly focuses on the interface between basic research on epilepsy and its translation towards clinical application, especially the relationship between epilepsy and cardiac and respiratory function and its implications for understanding sudden unexplained death in epilepsy.

Link to Research Profile


Ferecsko AS, Jiruska P, Foss L, Powell AD, Chang WC, Sik A, Jefferys JGR (2014) Structural and functional substrates of tetanus toxin in an animal model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain Struct.Funct. (In Press) doi 10.1007/s00429-013-0697-1

Mellström B, Sahún I, Ruiz-Nuño A, Murtra P, Gomez-Villafuertes R, Savignac M, Oliveros JC, Gonzalez P, Kastanauskaite A, Knafo S, Zhuo M, Higuera-Matas A, Errington ML, Maldonado R, DeFelipe J, Jefferys JGR, Bliss TVP, Dierssen M, Naranjo JR (2014) DREAM controls the on/off switch of specific activity-dependent transcription pathways. Mol.Cell.Biol. 34 (5):877-887.

Jiruska P, Shtaya ABY, Bodansky DMS, Chang WC, Gray WP, Jefferys JGR. Dentate gyrus progenitor cell proliferation after the onset of spontaneous seizures in the tetanus toxin model of temporal lobe epilepsy. Neurobiol.Disease 2013; 54:492-498.

Jefferys JGR, de la Prida LM, Wendling F, Bragin A, Avoli M, Timofeev I, Lopes da Silva FH. Mechanisms of physiological and epileptic HFO generation. Prog.Neurobiol. 2012;98:250-264.

Powell AD, Gill KK, Saintot PP, Jiruska P, Chelly J, Billuart P, Jefferys JGR. Rapid reversal of impaired inhibitory and excitatory transmission but not spine dysgenesis in a mouse model of mental retardation. J Physiol. 2012;590:763-76

Zijlmans M, Jiruska P, Zelmann R, Leijten FS, Jefferys JGR, Gotman J. High-frequency oscillations as a new biomarker in epilepsy. Ann Neurol. 2012;71:169-78.

Jiruska P, Marusic P, Jefferys JGR, Krsek P, Cmejla R, Sebronova V, Komarek V. Sturge-Weber syndrome: a favourable surgical outcome in a case with contralateral seizure onset and myoclonic-astatic seizures. Epileptic.Disord. 2011;13:76-81.

Lu CB, Jefferys JGR, Toescu EC, Vreugdenhil M. In vitro hippocampal gamma oscillation power as an index of in vivo CA3 gamma oscillation strength and spatial reference memory. Neurobiol. Learning & Memory 2011;95:221-230.

Ratté S, Vreugdenhil M, Boult JKR, Patel A, Asante EA, Collinge J, Jefferys JGR. Threshold for epileptiform activity is elevated in prion knockout mice. Neuroscience 2011;179:56-61.

Jiruska P, Csicsvari J, Powell AD, Fox JE, Chang WC, Vreugdenhil M, Li X, Palus M, Bujan AF, Dearden RW, Jefferys JGR. High-frequency network activity, global increase in neuronal activity and synchrony expansion precede epileptic seizures in vitro. J Neurosci 2010;30:5690-701.

Jiruska P, Finnerty GT, Powell AD, Lofti N, Cmejla R, Jefferys JGR. High-frequency network activity in a model of non-lesional temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain 2010;133:1380-90.

Jiruska P, Powell AD, Chang WC, Jefferys JGR. Electrographic high-frequency activity and epilepsy. Epilepsy Res 2010;89:60-5.

Oke OO, Magony A, Anver H, Ward PD, Jiruska P, Jefferys JGR, Vreugdenhil M. High-frequency gamma oscillations coexist with low-frequency gamma oscillations in the rat visual cortex in vitro. Eur J Neurosci 2010;31:1435-45.

Jiruska P, Cmejla R, Powell AD, Chang WC, Vreugdenhil M, Jefferys JGR. Reference noise method of removing powerline noise from recorded signals. J Neurosci Methods 2009;184:110-4.

Khelfaoui M, Alice P, Powell AD, Valnegri P, Cheong KW, Blandin Y, Passafaro M, Jefferys JGR, Chelly J, Billuart P. Inhibition of RhoA pathway rescues the endocytosis defects in Oligophrenin1 mouse model of mental retardation. Hum Mol Genet 2009;18:2575-83.

Pietersen ANJ, Patel N, Jefferys JGR, Vreugdenhil M. Comparison between spontaneous and kainate-induced gamma oscillations in the mouse hippocampus in vitro. Eur J Neurosci 2009;29:2145-56.

Jiruska P, Tomasek M, Netuka D, Otahal J, Jefferys JGR, Li X, Marusic P. Clinical impact of high-frequency seizure onset zone in a case of bi-temporal epilepsy. Epileptic Disord 2008;10:231-8.

Li X, Jefferys JGR, Fox J, Yao X. Neuronal population oscillations of rat hippocampus during epileptic seizures. Neural Networks 2008;21:1105-11.

Powell AD, Toescu EC, Collinge J, Jefferys JGR. Alterations in Ca2+-buffering in prion-null mice: association with reduced afterhyperpolarizations in CA1 hippocampal neurons. J Neurosci 2008;28:3877-86.

Ratté S, Prescott SA, Collinge J, Jefferys JGR. Hippocampal bursts caused by changes in NMDA receptor-dependent excitation in a mouse model of variant CJD. Neurobiol Dis 2008;32:96-104.

Deans JK, Powell AD, Jefferys JGR. Sensitivity of coherent oscillations in rat hippocampus to AC electric fields. J Physiol 2007;583:555-65.

Li X, Cui D, Jiruska P, Fox JE, Yao X, Jefferys JGR. Synchronization measurement of multiple neuronal populations based on correlation matrix analysis. J Neurophysiol 2007;98:3341-8.

Mallucci GR, White MD, Farmer M, Dickinson A, Khatun H, Powell AD, Brandner S, Jefferys JGR, Collinge J. Targeting cellular prion protein reverses early cognitive deficits and neurophysiological dysfunction in prion-infected mice. Neuron 2007;53:325-35.

Kudlacek J, Chvojka J, Kumpost V, Hermanovska B, Posusta A, Jefferys JGR, Maturana MI, Novak O, Cook MJ, Otahal J, Hlinka J, Jiruska P (2021). ). Long-term seizure dynamics are determined by the nature of seizures and the mutual interactions between them. Neurobiol Dis. 154:105347

Biggs EN, Budde R, Jefferys JGR, Irazoqui PP (2021). Ictal activation of oxygen-conserving reflexes as a mechanism for sudden death in epilepsy.
Epilepsia 62(3):752-764.

Jefferys JGR, Ashby-Lumsden A, Lovick TA (2020) Cardiac effects of repeated focal seizures in rats induced by intrahippocampal tetanus toxin: Bradyarrhythmias, tachycardias, and prolonged interictal QT interval. Epilepsia 61(4):798-809.

Chang WC, Kudlacek J, Hlinka J, Chvojka J, Hadrava M, Kumpost V, Powell AD, Janca R, Maturana MI, Karoly PJ, Freestone DR, Cook MJ, Palus M, Otahal J, Jefferys JGR, Jiruska P (2018). Loss of neuronal network resilience precedes seizures and determines the ictogenic nature of interictal synaptic perturbations. Nat Neurosci. 21(12):1742-1752.

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