Professor, Snyder Department of Neuroscience and Department of Otolaryngology
My lab is interested in understanding the mechanisms by which neurons and glial cells interact to support normal communication in the nervous system. Neurons transmit information at specialized synaptic junctions, points of contact where action potentials elicit the release of a chemical neurotransmitter. Neurotransmission at excitatory synapses involves the vesicular release of glutamate, diffusion and binding of glutamate to various receptors, and uptake of glutamate by transporters. Transporters are critical for ensuring that receptors are available to bind glutamate during subsequent release events, as well as for limiting receptor activation so that excitotoxic damage does not occur. Transporters may also shape the activation of receptors on a more rapid time scale during synaptic transmission.