Schuman Department

A synapse, the point of contact and communication between neurons, is one of the smallest fundamental circuits available for analysis in the brain. The brain generates representations of environmental inputs received from sensory systems and must constantly update these representations to effectively interact with a changing environment. The ability of the nervous system to respond adaptively relies on modifications to existing proteins as well as changes in gene transcription, protein synthesis, and protein degradation. In addition, there are transynaptic signals generated via the regulation of adhesion molecules resident at synapses. We are interested in how these cell biological mechanisms transmit information and modify circuits to store information. We conduct many of our studies in the rat hippocampus, a structure known to be important for memory in both humans and animals. We have also recently initiated studies using zebrafish as a system to study memory at the molecular, cellular and behavioral levels. We use the tools of molecular biology, electrophysiology and imaging to address the various experimental questions in the lab.

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