Comparative Biosciences Department
Molecular and biochemical mechanisms of synapse morphogenesis
Veterinary Medicine Building
2015 Linden Dr
Madison, WI 53706
Developmental Biology & Regenerative Medicine; Cell Adhesion & Cytoskeleton
The research of my laboratory focuses on understanding how gene-based alterations identified in schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and autism spectrum disorders impact neuronal morphology and function. Particular attention is devoted to understanding how disease-associated genetic variants regulate synaptic structure and the receptor content of dendritic spines. Further, using in vivo optogenetics and DREADDs (designer receptors exclusively activated by designer drugs), my research aims to identify how disease-associated genetic manipulations affect the strength of specific interbrain region connections, and how manipulating the activity of specific connections regulates synapse formation, maturation, and stability, and the consequent effects on behavioral phenotypes.