There are two major research objectives in the laboratory.
We would like to understand at a molecular level how
individual cells, neurons or muscle, achieve stable
levels of activity during development and throughout
life. We hypothesize that each cell in the nervous system
is endowed with potent homeostatic mechanisms that enable
cellular activity levels to be regulated. Understanding
these homeostatic mechanisms may have far-reaching implications
for understanding and treating neural disease.
The second major objective of the laboratory is to
understand the cellular mechanisms that control synaptic
growth in the nervous system. How are the stereotyped
sizes and morphologies of synapses determined during
development? What are the cellular and molecular mechanisms
that modulate the addition or elimination of transmitter
release machinery within a synapse during development?
Understanding how neuronal and synaptic growth is normally
controlled may provide the opportunity to manipulate
synaptic function for the treatment of neurodegenerative
disease or injury to the nervous system.
There are many opportunities for collaboration between
the people working on different projects in the laboratory.
Our research approaches include quantitative live imaging,
synaptic electrophysiology as well as Drosophila genetics
and molecular biology. People working with different
techniques often collaborate in order to bring different
expertise to bear on a single research project. This
is very important to the progress of research in the