Dr Sergiy Sylantyev

Dr Sergiy Sylantyev
Dr Sergiy Sylantyev

Dr Sergiy Sylantyev



Rowett Institute, University of Aberdeen,

Ashgrove Rd. West, Aberdeen AB25 2ZD


I graduated with an MSc in animal and human physiology from the Odesa National University (Odesa, Ukraine) in 1998. After that I began my PhD research project on pharmacological profiles of the ligands of type A receptor of γ-aminobutyric acid (GABAAR) under supervision of Prof. Zinkovsky. This initiated my interest to ionotropic receptors' biophysics, molecular pharmacology and connected modulatory signalling. After gaining a PhD degree in Neuropharmacology in 2002 I worked as a postdoc in several institutions on various projects connected to cellular and molecular neuroscience, focusing on different types of ionotropic receptors. First, under supervision of Dr. Shyu Bai-Chuang (Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Taipei, Taiwan) I studied GABAAR signalling and its modulation in anterior cingulate cortex. Next, in the laboratory of Dr. John Clements (The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia) I studied the effects of various mutations on signalling properties of the glycine receptor. After that I moved to the UK, where I obtained a Senior Postdoctoral Fellow position in the Queen Square Institute of Neurology (University College London). At this position working in a team led by Prof. Dmitri Rusakov, I was involved in a number of projects connected to fundamental neuroscience, which resulted in several high-profile publications. My first independent Chancellor's Fellow position was in the University of Edinburgh, where from 2014 to 2019 I studied molecular pharmacology and the functional role of spontaneously opening GABAARs in the brain. I joined the University of Aberdeen in 2020, aiming to investigate the role of GABAARs in modulation of appetite and feeding behaviour.


  • PhD Pharmacology 
    2002 - Odesa Medical University, Ukraine 
  • MSc Animal and Human Physiology 
    1998 - Odesa National University, Ukraine 

Prizes and Awards

Burgen Scholar Award of Academia Europaea, 2008


Research Overview


My current research interests are focused on the impact of GABAAR ligands on feeding behaviour and appetite, with a specific attention to underlying molecular mechanisms. One research direction is a role of GABAAR-mediated signalling in neurons of a specific type (AgRP cells), localized in hypothalamus, in regulation of feeding behaviour. Hypothalamic pool of AgRP cells seems to play a pivotal role in modulation of appetite, with GABAAR-mediated outgoing signalling as the main mechanism of fine tuning of feeding activity. This helps to understand neural mechanisms controlling development of obesity and related disorders (such as a Prader-Willi syndrome). Another focus is on the regulation of GABAAR function by pH fluctuations in the fish brain, and connected changes in feeding of fish species of industrial importance (rainbow trout, Atlantic salmon). The latter research direction, apart from clarification of understudied fundamental mechanisms of pH-mediated neural inhibitory signalling, in a long-term perspective should lead to optimization of fish feeding in aquaculture.

Research Areas

Biological and Environmental Sciences

Biomedical Sciences

Research Specialisms

  • Neuroscience
  • Zoology

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Funding and Grants

Research grants in the University of Aberdeen

The Wellcome Trust ISSF Award, 2020: £20,000. GABAARs control over taste perception

BBSRC Research Grant, 2021 (co-investigator): £457,906. Regulation of feeding by brainstem GABA neurons.

Pump-Prime Interdisciplinary Research Grant, 2021: £10,000. The role of GABAARs in regulation of fish appetite.


Non-course Teaching Responsibilities

Invited lecturer: University of Edinburgh, course Pharmacology 3.


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