Robert Sterner

Credentials: Studying the fundamentals of synaptic plasticity or the ability of synapses to change in response to use and previous activity patterns is valuable as we aim to obtain a mechanistic understanding of the molecular processes underlying information processing, working memory, and behavior. My project focuses on a particular form of short-term presynaptic plasticity called paired-pulse facilitation (PPF), which is defined as an increased probability of neurotransmitter release in response to the second stimulus of two closely spaced stimuli. My project aims to provide the first direct evidence of the identity of the calcium sensor for PPF through altering and tuning the calcium binding kinetic properties of the most likely candidate sensor for PPF. The knowledge gained from this work has the potential to provide new tools and insights that could be applied to determine how PPF functions in information processing, working memory, behavior, and neuropsychiatric diseases.


Wi Institute Medical Research
1111 Highland Ave
Madison, WI 53705

Robert Sterner headshot

Class of 2018
BS, Biochemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology; BS, Biology; BA, Chemistry – Drake University
Rothman Lab/Martin Lab