Welcome to the crablab at Illinois State University

One of the fundamental questions in Neuroscience is understanding how sensory pathways control neural circuit function to produce adequate behavioral responses in varying environmental conditions. The Stein lab uses experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neuromodulation of sensory pathways and motor circuits, exploiting the advantages of the central pattern generating circuits in the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion. Central pattern generators are sets of neurons that exist in most animals and control rhythmic behaviors, including walking, swimming, breathing and swallowing. In the stomatogastric ganglion, these neurons are easy to record from, they continue to function even if isolated from the animal, and their connectivity is known. Methods used in the lab are manifold, including current and voltage clamp recordings, optical imaging, RNA and DNA extraction, and computer modeling.
The photo above shows a fluorescence staining of the stomatogastric ganglion and its 26 motor neurons. For details click here to read Goldsmith et al., 2014.


  • IMSAloquium - High School Student Presentations Our high school student Saisu Talasu presented her research on Dopamine receptors today at the annual colloquium of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy, IMSAloquium. Like all seminars these days ...
    Posted Apr 22, 2020, 7:39 AM by Wolfgang Stein
  • Research stay in Germany PI Stein and Ph.D. student Margaret DeMaegd spent two month at Greifswald University in Germany to study variability in neuronal structures using the all-clonal species of marbled crayfish ...
    Posted Mar 23, 2020, 11:49 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • PhD student Margaret DeMaegd wins University Scholarship Congrats to PhD student Margaret DeMaegd for being awarded the Robert Preston University Club Scholarship. The photo shows Maggie with Dr. Preston as she receives her award. 
    Posted Dec 6, 2019, 3:42 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • BSSA Research Symposium Proud of Saisu Talasu, High school student in the lab, and Maisam Yousef, undergraduate student, for presenting their research at the annual BSSA Research Symposium today. Maisam won 2nd place ...
    Posted Nov 20, 2019, 9:34 PM by Wolfgang Stein
  • MS student Josselyn Gonzalez speaking at the Charles Morris STEM Social for underrepresented students Josselyn volunteered at the 6th annual Charles Morris STEM Social for underrepresented students as a representative of the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP). Josselyn talked about student opportunities ...
    Posted Nov 19, 2019, 9:35 AM by Wolfgang Stein
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