Molecular and cellular mechanisms for synaptic plasticity
Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology
Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” CSIC-UAM (CBMSO)
DESCRIPTION OF THE OFFER
Our laboratory is interested in the mechanismsm by which neuronal connections are adjusted in response to the activity they receive. This process, known as synaptic plasticity, is widely accepted as the cellular basis for learning and memory. Additionally, several neurological and neurodegenerative diseases (such as autism, mental retardation and Alzheimer's disease) have been correlated with deficits in synaptic plasticity. This research project will be focused on the cellular and molecular processes responsible for synaptic plasticity. Three aspects of this project will be pursued:
1) Identification of the signal transduction pathways that mediate neurotransmitter receptor trafficking at synapses.
2) Identification of the cellular machinery that controls the movement and targeting of neurotransmitter receptors.
3) Analysis of potential alterations in synaptic plasticity mechanisms associated to cognitive disorders.
A major experimental approach in the laboratory is the expression of recombinant receptors and regulatory proteins in hippocampal slices, using electrophysiology and neuronal imaging as functional assays. These ex-vivo approaches are also combined with in vivo behavioral assays using transgenic mouse models. The laboratory has a strong multidisciplinary scope, which we believe is essential for the general goal of understanding how individual molecules contribute to neuronal function.
Biomolecules & Cell D.