Ryan Lab

Weill Cornell Medicine

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 molecular basis of synaptic performance.

We use biophysical tools to examine synapse function. These tools provide single synapse measurements of exocytosis, endocytosis, action potential wave forms, calcium fluxes as well as the concentration of key metabolites. The brain is acutely sensitive to metabolic compromise. We showed recently that nerve terminals represent one of the key loci of this vulnerability (Cell 2014). These studies opened up several key questions the Ryan lab is currently pursuing about synaptic metabolism. How much ATP do different processes at synapses consume? What are the biochemical rules in play to synthesize ATP in response to activity? What are the biochemical reasons synapses are so vulnerable?

Interested in a position in the lab? Send an email to Tim Ryan (address on "People" page)

Graduate & other affiliated Programs

The lab participates in the following programs: