People and Projects

  

Brian Lane, Postdoc

I am investigating compensatory plasticity in  visual thalamocortical circuits, including mechanisms that stablize V1 firing across light/dark transitions.  I am currently performing chronic in vivo recordings from V1 and dLGN in freely behaving animals to examine how light-dark transitions and monocular deprivation affect neuronal firing rates in these two regions of the brain.

 

Wei Wen, Postdoc

Wei is studying the signaling mechanisms that underlie the co-induction of intrinsic and synaptic homeostatic plasticity

 

 

 

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.

Vedakumar Tatavarty, Postdoc

My research in the Turrigiano lab has focused on delineating the molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate homeostatic plasticity. My current project focuses on Shank3, which has been causally linked to the pathogenesis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Using electrophysiological and imaging approaches, I am investigating the impact that the loss of Shank3 has on homeostatic plasticity. My long-term goal is to understand how deficiencies in homeostatic mechanisms could contribute to neuropsychiatric disorders.

Alejandro Torrado Pacheco, PhD student

I am interested in how sleep regulates homeostatic plasticity in the brain. To investigate this  I use chronic in vivo electrophysiology to record the activity of neurons in the visual cortex of rats continuously over several days in a monocular deprivation paradigm. In combination with spectral analysis of LFPs and behavioral state tracking, I can use these data to understand how neuronal activity is regulated by sleep and wake states in a highly plastic system. I particularly enjoy developing new computational approaches to analyze the massive amounts of data these experiments generate.

Nathaniel Miska, PhD student/postdoc

I’ve been utilizing  electrophysiology and optogenetics in rodent brain slices to quantify the re-wiring of layer 4 excitatory and inhibitory microcircuitry by visual experience.  We find that feedforward and feedback excitation/inhibition ratios can be independently adjusted by visual experience. I just defended my thesis, and will be moving on to a postdoc soon.

 

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.

 

Lauren Tereshko, PhD student (joint with the Sengupta lab)

I’m thrilled to be working on a collaborative project between the Sengupta and Turrigiano labs,  exploring the function of primary cilia in developed cortical neurons. Mammalian neurons actively maintain a single primary cilium throughout their life, yet their function remains largely unknown. I hope to find a link between cilia signaling and synaptic maintenance.

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.