Department of Biological Sciences

 

Our research is interested in the underlying components able to modify synaptic plasticity and transmission in the Central Nervous System (CNS) in health and disease.

Using a combination of biochemical, cellular, molecular and behavioral approaches, we investigate proteins of excitatory postsynapses focusing on their deregulation in neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, Alzheimer’s disease and Schizophrenia. We are especially interested in the functional interaction of biometals and synaptic proteins in mechanisms such as synapse formation and maturation in health and disease. Given that dysregulation of trace metals is reported in many brain disorders, their role in the modification of synaptic function needs to be investigated in more detail. Especially since many brain disorders seem to not only have a genetic but also an environmental component triggering the disease.


Understanding how environmental and genetic factors contribute to synaptic function will hopefully allow the development of research strategies to normalize function in individuals with synaptopathies.


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