Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Neuroscience Focus Areas:
Cell and Molecular Neuroscience, Excitable Membranes and Synaptic Transmission
The tightly regulated secretion of neurotransmitters is the primary form of communication in the nervous system. Transmitter secretion is mediated by a specialized membrane trafficking cycle that includes the synthesis, filling, targeting, priming, calcium-dependent fusion and recycling of transmitter-containing (synaptic) vesicles. Identifying the molecular events that produce and regulate this cycle is a first step toward understanding how genetic and environmental factors influence nervous system functioning. Towards this end, my lab is studying proteins localized to the presynaptic terminal. Our current studies focus on synaptic vesicle protein composition, the role of Synaptic Vesicle Protein 2 (SV2) in exo- and endocytosis and on lipid kinases that regulate neuronal function.