We are interested in the molecular mechanisms governing synaptic plasticity and memory formation. How is information stored in neurons, in particular in dendritic spines?
Spines are small, mushroom-like protrusions on dendrites that encompass the excitatory synapse, as well as a hundred more molecules and proteins. Biochemical and structural changes in the spine are thought to mediate ‘information’ storage. What are the changes that enable a spine to remember? How long can these changes last? Can these be modulated/controlled?
To answer these questions, we employ a variety of methods ranging from molecular biology, through electrophysiology and advanced imaging methods, to optogenetics, to name a few. In particular, we design our own tools (optical and/or genetic) to monitor and control cellular processes such as synaptic plasticity.