Physical Chemistry of the Synapse
The focus of this lab is the study of the molecular basis of synaptic transmission in the mammalian brain. Our primary interests lie in understanding the regulation of presynaptic strength , i.e. how well nerve terminals perform, under a variety of stimulus conditions.
We use biophysical tools to measure physiological parameters at synapses, including exocytosis, endocytosis, action potential wave forms and voltage-triggered calcium fluxes in individual presynaptic boutons. We combine these with molecular, chemical and genetic tools to investigate the role of specific proteins in these events. We concentrate heavily on state-of-the-art optical methods to obtain a quantitative understanding of presynaptic function and attempt to reduce the complexities of synaptic transmission in a physico-chemical framework.
The lab participates in the following programs: