Synapses, Cells, and Circuits

The Synapses, Cells, and Circuits FAR focuses on how the nervous system works by linking physiological mechanisms at the synaptic, cellular and circuit levels. Ultimately these efforts seek to understand in detail how synaptic function and plasticity, properties intrinsic to individual neurons, and microcircuit function converge to process information in different brain areas. Over the past decades neuroscience has elucidated basic principles underlying neuronal excitability and synaptic function. There also is increasingly accurate specification of the brain regions involved in particular behaviors through neuroimaging. However, due to technical challenges, relatively little research links these critical physiological levels. Bridging this gap will require the next generation of scientists to have expertise in neuronal cell biology, synaptic physiology, genetic approaches, and modern optical techniques. Given the breadth of neuroscience expertise at UCLA, this FAR is ideally positioned to lead research and training in this field.

List of Faculty:

Adhikari, Avishek Neural control of emotional behaviors, with a focus on fear and anxiety
Akin, Orkun Role of neural activity in brain development and synapse formation
Arac, Ahmet Mechanisms of motor behavior and neural activity relationship
Arnold, Arthur Sexual Differentiation of the Brain
Barnes, Steven A. Ion Channel Biophysics in the Retina: Vision, Neurons, Circuits and Metabolism
Basso, Michele A. Reserach on how the brain makes decisions and how these processes go awry in diseases
Bhaduri, Aparna Regulation of cell fate specification in normal human cortical development and glioblastoma, using single-cell approaches and cortical organoid models.
Bisley, James Cognitive Processing of Visual Information; Guidance of Eye Movements
Blair, Hugh Tad Learning and Memory; Neural Computation
Brecha, Nicholas Neurochemical Pathways in the Vertebrate Retina
Buonomano, Dean Neural Dynamics: Neural Basis of Learning and Temporal Processing
Butler, Samantha Generating and regenerating neural circuitry in the spinal cord
Cahill, Catherine Chronic pain and opioid addiction
Chandler, Scott Neuronal Mechanisms Controlling Jaw Movement
Charles, Andrew Cellular and pharmacological mechanisms of migraine and pain
Churchland, Anne Sensory perception and decision-making.
Colwell, Christopher Neural Control of Behavior, Circadian Rhythms
Correa, Stephanie Neural control of energy homeostasis, estrogen signaling, neuroendocrinology
De Biase, Lindsay Influence of microglial cells on normal and pathological circuit function
de la Torre-Ubieta, Luis Mechanisms of human neocortical development and neuropsychiatric disease using neural stem cell models and bioinformatic approaches.
Demer, Joseph Ocular Motor System, Vestibular System
DeNardo, Laura Assembly and function of neural circuits underlying adaptive behaviors
Donlea, Jeffrey M. Sleep regulation, learning and memory
Edgerton, V. Reggie Neural Control of Movement and Neuromuscular Plasticity
Engel Jr., Jerome Neurobiology of Epilepsy
Feldman, Jack Properties of Neurons Resulting in Behavior
Frye, Mark Cross-Modal Sensory Fusion and Sensory-Motor Integration
Glanzman, David Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
Golshani, Peyman Autism Spectrum Disorders and Developmental Epilepsies
Gorin, Michael Molecular Genetics and Mechanisms of Retinal Disorders
Gylys, Karen Synapse Pathology in Alzheimer's Disease
Hallem, Elissa Olfactory Behavior in Free-living and Parasitic Nematodes
Harper, Ronald Neural Mechanisms in Sleep State
Hong, Weizhe Neural Mechanisms of Social Behavior
Houser, Carolyn Morphological Organization and Plasticity of the GABA System; Neurochemical Anatomy of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Hsiao, Elaine Neurobiology of disease, neuroimmunology, microbiome-nervous system interactions
Kao, Jonathan Computational systems neuroscience and neural engineering
Khakh, Baljit Ion Channels, Glia and Synapses
Krantz, David Using Drosophila to Study Neurotransmitter Transport, Synaptic Transmission, Behavior and Disease
Kumar, Rajesh Neural control of autonomic, breathing, and cognitive functions.
Levine, Michael Neurophysiological Mechanisms Underlying Neurodegenerative Disorders
MacKenzie-Graham, Allan Understanding and preventing neurodegeneration
Martin, Kelsey Cell Biology of Learning-related Synaptic Plasticity
Mathews, Paul Mechanisms of learning and memory, motor coordination
Mayer, Emeran Neurobiology of Stress, Pain and Emotion
Mehta, Mayank Computational and Systems Neuroscience, Learning and Memory, Sleep, Neural Oscillations, Neural Coding
Metzner, Walter Behavioral Neuroscience (Neuroethology)
Micevych, Paul Reproductive Neuroendocrinology, Neuroprotection, Pain
Mody, Istvan Synaptic Signaling in Health and Disease
Narins, Peter Auditory Neurophysiology, Mechanics and Behavior
Novitch, Bennett Regulation of Stem and Progenitor Cell Specification and Differentiation in the Vertebrate Central Nervous System
O'Dell, Thomas Synaptic and Molecular Mechanisms in Learning and Memory Formation
Olcese, Riccardo Molecular Physiology of Ion Channels
Papazian, Diane Voltage Gated K Channels: Functional Mechanisms and Role in Neurodevelopment and Neurodegeneration
Peng, Yi-Rong Genetic Dissection of Retinal Circuits
Piri, Natik Retinal Ganglion Cells and Optic Neuropathies
Poe, Gina Investigating the mechanisms by which sleep traits serve learning and memory consolidation
Portera-Cailliau, Carlos Imaging the Assembly and Plasticity of Cortical Circuits with Two Photon Microscopy
Ringach, Dario Visual Neurophysiology and Perception
Sagasti, Alvaro Development of Complex Cell Shapes in Zebrafish Touch-Sensing Neurons
Samarasinghe, Ranmal Neural network formation and dysfunction in epilepsy and autism; stem cell models; brain organoids
Sampath, Alapakkam Retinal Physiology and Visual Performance
Schlinger, Barney Steroid Synthesis and Action in the Vertebrate CNS
Schweizer, Felix Molecular Mechanisms and Regulation of Synaptic Transmission
Shah, Pavak Synaptogenesis, circuit assembly and the cellular basis of neural dynamics.
Sharpe, Melissa J. The neural bases of how we learn from our unique experience and how this goes wrong in psychopathology
Shivkumar, Kalyanam Catheter Ablation of Cardiac Arrhythmias, Autonomic Regulation of Myocardial Excitability
Siegel, Jerome Sleep, Motor Control
Silva, Alcino Molecular and Cellular Mechanisms of Learning and Memory
Spigelman, Igor Neuropharmacology
Sternini, Catia The “Brain in the Gut” and Taste Receptors
Trachtenberg, Joshua Understanding Cortical Plasticity from Synapses to Circuits
White, Stephanie Social Influences on Learning and Memory
Yang, Xian-Jie Development and Diseases of the Vertebrate Neural Retina
Zhang, Ye Astrocyte development and the roles of astrocytes in neurological and psychiatric disorders
Zipursky, Larry S. Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Neuronal Circuit Assembly