Dysfunction at the synapse is a common theme in neurological disease and following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Our lab focuses on examining changes that occur at mammalian synapses during development, with disease, and following TBI. We exploit micro-scale technology and microfluidics to overcome traditional challenges in working with cultured neurons. Our novel approaches are particularly relevant given the emerging use of human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to model disease. Human iPSCs are stem cells derived from patients’ skin cells that can be generated into functional neurons and then studied in culture; this model system allows us to investigate how human synapses are altered in disease. We use devices that allow access to distinct cellular compartments to investigate localized changes at synapses and signaling from synapse-to-nucleus. We also exploit the scalability of these approaches—a unique advantage given low-throughput approaches of traditional techniques in neuroscience.
Office: (919) 843-8156
Lab: (919) 843-9324