- Email Address
- [email protected]
- Research Areas
- Research Keywords
- Research Description
Our laboratory aims to discover new mechanisms that contribute to the development and/or plasticity of neuronal cells. We believe that our basic research will lead to novel insights into the apparition and development of mental illnesses, like schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, and potentially help recognize original targets for pharmacological intervention and treatment.
- Research Summary
The growth of neurons and their organization into circuits is a tightly controlled process that follows a series of well-defined steps. Once differentiated and integrated into networks, neurons also retain a remarkable capacity to rapidly change the arrangement of their connections in response to activity, a feature that is believed to critically support cognition as well as our ability to learn and retain information for long periods of time. Accumulating evidence strongly suggests that perturbation of the molecular interactions responsible for the growth of neurons, or the capacity of these cells to adequately respond to activity-dependent signals, contributes to the pathophysiology of different brain disorders. Our laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach to explore these questions.
- Techniques Used
Primary neuronal cell culture, patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), fluorescence microscopy, high-throughput high-content microscopy, calcium imaging, live-cell imaging, immunocytochemistry, quantitative PCR, Western blotting, mass spectrometry, RNA-seq, neurohistology, in situ hybridization, cloning, site-directed mutagenesis, recombinant protein expression and purification
- Lab Equipment
Nikon Eclipse Ti2-E (fully motorized inverted research microscope system equipped with LED illumination sources and high transmission optics for brightfield, phase contrast, DIC, and epi-fluorescence applications including high-speed ratiometric calcium imaging), NIS-Elements software including 6D Imaging and Extended Depth of Focus packages, state-of-art cell culture facility (two Thermo Scientific Model 1323 Class II-Type A2 biological safety cabinets, two Thermo Scientific Heracell 150i CO2 incubators, a water bath, a Sorval ST8 centrifuge, a Laxco inverted microscope, a BioRad TC20 automated cell counter, and an INFORS HT Celltron shaker dedicated to the preparation of patient-derived cerebral organoids), Zeiss Stemi 305 stereoscope for brain dissection, as well as wet lab space fully equipped to perform molecular biology and biochemical assays.
- Locations of international collaborators
Massachusetts General Hospital (Boston, MA, USA), University of New Mexico School of Medicine (Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)