Schuman Department

Erin Schuman’s long-standing research interest is the study of cellular mechanisms and neural circuits that underlie information processing and storage and animal behavior. Memories are stored within and between the cells that make neural circuits. Although memories can last a lifetime, the substrates for memory are relatively unstable, proteins. The Schuman lab studies the properties of mRNAs and proteins (e.g. the transcriptomes and proteomes) distributed throughout the neuron, with a focus on how local cell biological processes, like protein synthesis, can function to allow synapses to respond rapidly and relatively specifically to bring about changes. To study protein synthesis, Schuman and colleagues have worked for many years on biorthogonal labelling approaches using non-canonical amino acids and click chemistry to visualize, purify and identify newly synthesized proteins. 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 used zebrafish as a system to study memory at the molecular, cellular and behavorial levels. 

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