Department of Neurological Sciences
Rush University Medical Center
1725 W. Harrison St. Chicago IL 60612
Phone: (312) 942-5418
Our goal is to identify, describe, and understand the synaptopathology of age-related dementias and other neurodegenerative diseases.
My lab's principal focus is on the synaptopathology of aging and age-related dementia (e.g., Alzheimer's disease). Our approach combines conventional and immunogold serial section electron microscopy with whole-cell patch-clamp physiology, and we are currently focusing on the degradation of hippocampal synapses in aged cognitively impaired rats and transgenic mice harboring Alzheimer's disease-related mutations. Our techniques allow us to identify patterns of synaptic or dendritic degradation with electron microscopy, and then determine the functional consequences of this disassembly on synaptic transmission and plasticity using whole-cell patch-clamp recordings.
Katz Y, Menon V, Nicholson DA, Geinisman Y, Kath WL, Spruston N (2009) Synapse distribution suggests a two-stage model of dendritic integration in CA1 pyramidal neurons. Neuron 63:171-177.
Nicholson DA, Geinisman Y (2009) Axospinous synaptic subtype-specific differences in structure, size, ionotropic receptor expression, and connectivity in apical dendritic regions of rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Journal of Comparative Neurology 512:399-418.
Nicholson DA, Trana R, Katz Y, Kath WL, Spruston N, Geinisman Y (2006) Distance-dependent differences in synapse number and AMPA receptor expression in hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. Neuron 50:431-442.
Nicholson DA, Yoshida R, Berry RW, Gallagher M, Geinisman Y (2004) Reduction in size of perforated postsynaptic densities in hippocampal axospinous synapses and age-related spatial learning impairments. Journal of Neuroscience 25:7648-7653.