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.





Chi-Hong Wu, Postdoc. The big question that fascinates me is:  what are the cellular and molecular plasticity mechanisms that underlie distinct temporal phases of learning. Currently I am investigating the regulatory roles of homeostatic plasticity in aversive learning in mouse models, using behavioral and in vivo imaging  approaches.



Juliet Bottorff, PhD student.  My project is looking into the role of the cholinergic system in modulating  upward firing rate homeostasis in visual cortex, 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, PhD student. I am studying plasticity of intrinsic excitability in determining firing rate set points in neocortical neurons, and the role of Autism-associated genes in regulating this plasticity.



Brian Cary, Research Associate. How does experience make neocortical circuits work better? I address this question using an arrange of computational approaches to understand how complex behaviors change during learning, and how these changes are driven by the underlying circuit reorganization.



Andrea Guerrero, PhD Student. I am studying the role of Shank3 in mediating homeostatic synaptic scaling. I am especially interested in understanding how Shank3 phosphorylation modulates interactions with other synaptic proteins to enable synapses to compensate for changes in neuronal activity.



Regis Shanley, Postdoc. I am studying how inhibitory networks shape plasticity in the visual cortex in response to visual experience. I use ex vivo slice recordings to measure changes in intrinsic excitability of inhibitory interneurons and inhibitory synaptic strengths after a juvenile mouse becomes an expert cricket hunter. In the future I plan to follow the dynamics of interneuron activity during the acquisition of learning.


Lirong Wang, Technician. Lirong keeps the culture facility running, and help out with all sorts of other essential things.





Dan Leman, PhD student . My main scientific curiosities involve the interplay between stability and plasticity in coordinating sensorimotor learning. My project focuses on the homeostatic regulation of neuronal activity in the rodent primary visual cortex during visually-guided, naturalistic behaviors. To address this, I  use longitudinal, in vivo electrophysiology and behavioral analysis to measure homeostatic plasticity at cellular and population levels.

Nicole Wong, Postdoc. I am studying the role of neuronal primary cilia in the regulation of excitation/inhibition balance in neocortical circuits.






Adriana Prada, PhD student. I’m studying the role of Shank3 phosphorylation in regulating synaptic scaling. I’m especially interested in the signaling mechanisms that lead to changes in the phosphorylation state of Shank3 following activity-dependent perturbations at the synapse. I would also like to know how behavioral states such as sleep and wake  affect Shank3 phosphorylation to gate homeostatic plasticity.


last updated 10/28/22