People and Projects


Diane Bissen, Postdoc

How do plasticity mechanisms such as Hebbian plasticity and homeostatic scaling interact to support brain function? I am particularly interested in the spatial and temporal course of their crosstalk in a behaviorally relevant context. To address this question, I am using longitudinal in vivo imaging to investigate structural plasticity underlying visually-driven, experience-based learning and circuit homeostasis within V1 microcircuits.

Wei Wen, Postdoc

I am studying the signaling mechanisms that underlie the co-induction of intrinsic and synaptic homeostatic plasticity, and how these mechanisms are developmentally regulated.




Raul Ramos, PhD student

My project is looking to probe the role of homeostatic synaptic plasticity in associative learning and memory. To do this, we are using various molecular approaches to block synaptic scaling during conditioned taste aversion, a cortically-relevant associative learning paradigm. Outside of the lab, I love to chill with my corgi


Chi-Hong Wu, Postdoc

The big questions that fascinate me are what are the molecular mechanisms underlying homeostatic plasticity and how they mediate our behaviors. Currently I, along with Raul, am investigating the regulatory roles of homeostatic plasticity in learning and memory in rodent models using multidisciplinary approaches.


Juliet Bottorff, PhD student

Our lab recently found that upward firing rate homeostasis following monocular deprivation in rat visual cortex occurs primarily while the rat is active and awake. My project is looking into the role of the cholinergic system in enabling this cortical firing rate homeostasis, based on the idea that  cholinergic inputs modulates many cortical areas, including visual cortex, and this is a major contributor to active wake behavioral states in mammals.

Norelis Diaz-Rodriguez

I am studying plasticity of intrinsic excitability in determining firing rate set points in neocortical neurons, and the role of the axon initial segment in regulating this excitability.




Chelsea Groves Kuhnle, PhD student (Joint with the Van Hooser lab)

I’m studying the role of homeostatic plasticity in the functional changes observed following sensory deprivation in the developing cortex. I’m using in vivo optical imaging techniques to measure critical period ocular dominance plasticity and receptive field properties in a mouse model with known impairments in homeostatic plasticity, the Shank3 model of Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Nick Trojanowski, Postdoc

I am broadly interested in understanding how biological systems can achieve similar stable outputs from disparate underlying states. The Turrigiano lab has found that in the visual cortex, excitatory neurons have baseline firing rates that are distributed over at least three orders of magnitude. I am developing new approaches to determine both how these neurons come to occupy different positions in this distribution of firing rates, and how they homeostatically return to their firing rate set points during sustained sensory perturbation

Brian Cary, PhD student

How does sleep modulate the rules by which neurons and synapses store information? I study how synaptic plasticity changes over the course of sleep using both in vivo optogenetic recording and ex vivo slice physiology. With these tools, I hope to uncover if sleep and wake serve to temporally segregate forms of Hebbian LTP and homeostatic plasticity.


Andrea Guerrero, PhD Student

I am studying the role of Shank3 in mediating homeostatic synaptic scaling. I am especially interested in understanding how Shank3 interactions with other synaptic proteins enables synapses to respond to changes in neuronal activity.



Lirong Wang, Technician

Lirong keeps the culture facility running, and help out with all sorts of other essential things. She also makes the BEST dumplings.




Emma Gao, Technician

I am working with several PhD students in the lab to quantify sleep behavior in rodents, and to study the role of neuronal cilia in the regulation of synaptic strengths.




Dan Leman, PhD student (photo coming soon!)

I am working to explore changes in V1 activity during learning of visually-guided behaviors.