Molecular Neuroscience

Molecular neurobiology is the study of the role of individual molecules in the nervous system. Research is particularly strong in the area of synaptic neurotransmission. The propagation of electrical signals and the communication between cells at chemical synapses is the basis of all neuronal information processing. Neuronal signalling is mediated by ion channels, neurotransmitters and their receptors. Work in this area encompasses a broad range of approaches. Studies of GABA and glutamate receptors, for example, range from electrophysiological characterization of channel properties, to genetic analysis of whole animals with mutant receptors, to studies of the role of these receptors in epilepsy.

An unusual aspect of ion channel research at Utah is the close connection between the study of ion channels and of diseases caused by aberrations in these channels.

Several faculty are taking a genetic approach to the identification of proteins that are required in presynaptic neurons for the regulated release of neurotransmitter, with the eventual goal of studying how the strength of a synapse can be changed during learning and memory.

Faculty doing molecular neuroscience research and their departmental affiliation are:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Name

Department

Research Interest

A-C

Top
Wolfgang Baehr Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Phototransduction, the retinoid cycle, membrane protein transport in photoreceptors and mouse models for inherited retinal disease
Kuberan (Kuby) Balagurunathan Medicinal Chemistry Determining biological roles of heparan sulfate (HS) at the molecular level in the CNS. Designing new carbohydrate-based drugs to tackle CNS diseases
Michael Bastiani Biology Development of neuronal connections
Josh Bonkowsky Pediatrics Axon pathfinding and development of basal ganglia; function of language genes in CNS development
Sophie Caron Biology Sensory representations in the Drosophila brain
Clement Chow Human Genetics Genetic variation, Genomics, ER stress, Disease modifiers
Maureen L. Condic Neurobiology & Anatomy Interactions of sensory neurons with extracellular matrix

D-F

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Michael Deans Otolaryngology Mechanisms of sensory system development and cellular morphogenesis
Richard Dorsky Neurobiology & Anatomy Signaling pathways in zebrafish neural cell fate determination
Jeanne Frederick Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Investigating the pathogenesis of mutant protein expression in retina neurons
Yingbin Fu Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Phototransduction, Protein Trafficking, Retinal Degeneration

G-L

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Christopher Gregg Neurobiology & Anatomy Early life programming of molecular pathways and neural circuits related to feeding and foraging behaviors
Randy Jensen Neurosurgery Neurosurgical Oncology. Hypoxia and angiogenesis in brain tumors, calcium channel antagonist mediated growth inhibition of brain tumors. Brain tumor biomarker discovery. Animal models of brain tumors and imaging pseudo progression
Erik M. Jorgensen Biology Mechanisms of synaptic function
Yashar Kalani Neurosurgery Wnt signaling and the Neurovascular Unit, Blood Brain Barrier Biology, Stem cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, Biology of Vascular Malformations, Neurogenetics, extracellular RNAs in Development and Disease
Alan R. Light Anesthesiology Neurobiology of pain and fatigue enhancement caused by injury and in Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia syndromes

M-P

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Suzanne Mansour Human Genetics Genes involved in inner ear development and function
Andres Villu Maricq Biology The workings of synapses: molecular mechanisms regulating neurotransmission in C. elegans
J. Michael McIntosh Psychiatry and Biology Molecular Pharmacology of CNS receptors and ion channels
Shannon J. Odelberg Internal Medicine Molecular basis of regeneration and cellular plasticity
Baldomero M. Olivera Biology Ion channels, membrane receptors and sensory transduction
Sungjin Park Neurobiology & Anatomy Signal transduction mechanism in the nervous system focusing on the role of GPI-anchored proteins and their regulatory enzymes on neuron-glia communication

Q-U

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Scott W. Rogers Neurobiology & Anatomy Molecular biology and neurobiology of ligand-activated receptors
Michael C. Sanguinetti Physiology Ionic basis of cardiac excitability; mechanisms of ion channel gating; mechanisms of channel block by drugs
Oleksandr (Alex) Shcheglovitov Neurobiology & Anatomy Development and function of human synapses in health and disease
Jason Shepherd Neurobiology & Anatomy Synaptic plasticity, memory encoding, experience-dependent plasticity in visual cortex and neurological disorders

V-Z

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Megan E. Williams Neurobiology & Anatomy Molecular mechanisms that regulate synapse formation and specificity of neural circuits
Jun Yang Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Pathogenetic mechanisms of retinal degeneration and cell biology of photoreceptors
Doju Yoshikami Biology Cellular and molecular physiology of ion channels
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z