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Assistant Professor
UNC-Chapel Hill

Education and Training

Blaise Pascal University, PhD, 1997

Areas of Interest

Synapses are specialized sites of contact between neurons in the brain that are vital for the interneuronal signaling required for the processing and integration of information. Synapses are not simply organelles filled with a mixture of individual proteins; for proper function, these molecules must be organized into biological machines ranging in scale from molecular complexes to large organelles. Like their man-made counterparts, biological machines are composed of individual components that function in a coordinated fashion to perform specific functions. Malfunction of a single structural element can result in disease. I have used well-established light and electron microscopy techniques, along with innovative tools such as quantitative immunogold, electron tomography, FIB-SEM and super-resolution microscopy, to explore the nanoanatomy of synapses. My recent work involves the study of the spatial organization of proteins implicated in neurological disorders, with a special focus on the neurobiology of Angelman syndrome (a devastating neurodevelopmental disorder).