We are interested in molecular and cellular aspects of synaptic transmission. in the regulation of synaptic transmission and how this regulation affects neural systems. We are using acutely isolate neurons, brains slices and cultured cells in order to investigate these issues. We are using electrophysiology (incl. capacitance measurements), imaging and biochemical methods.
The research interests of the laboratory focus on the molecular mechanisms of neurotransmitter release, its diversity between different secretory systems and its regulation by activity and by intra- and intercellular signaling events, especially with regards to short-term plasticity. We use acutely isolate neurons and brain slices as well as cultured neurons and slices to study neurotransmitter release at synaptic sites. We monitor electrophysiologically and optically the activity of neuronal cells and the strength of the synaptic connection and try to manipulate synaptic transmission by introducing molecular probes into either the presynaptic or the postsynaptic neuron.
!!PLEASE COME BACK IN A COUPLE OF WEEKS AS THIS SECTION WILL BE UPDATED!!
Neurotransmitter release at the ribbon synapse of vestibular hair cells.
All information that we gather about our environment is filtered through the very first synaptic contact formed by the primary sensory cell with its targets. These synapses frequently show morphological specializations, yet we know very little about how they work and are thus fairly ignorant on how the sensory information is reaching the central nervous system.
The role of the ubiquitin proteasome system (UPS) in synaptic transmission.
The UPS is commonly thought to degrade proteins that are either no longer needed and/or misfolded. Recent evidence also indicates that the UPS modifies protein function. Malfunctioning of the UPS has been implicated in neurodegenerative disorders and circumstantial evidence indicates that synapses might be particularly vulnerable to disruption of the UPS. We are therefore investigating the role of the UPS in regulating synaptic transmission, especially in the presynaptic nerve terminal.