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Graeme Davis, Ph.D. - Principal Investigator

Albert Bowers Professor and Chair
Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics

Programs in Neuroscience, Cell Biology, and Developmental Biology

There are two major research objectives in the laboratory. We would like to understand at a molecular level how individual cells, neurons or muscle, achieve stable levels of activity during development and throughout life. We hypothesize that each cell in the nervous system is endowed with potent homeostatic mechanisms that enable cellular activity levels to be regulated. Understanding these homeostatic mechanisms may have far-reaching implications for understanding and treating neural disease.

The second major objective of the laboratory is to understand the cellular mechanisms that control synaptic growth in the nervous system. How are the stereotyped sizes and morphologies of synapses determined during development? What are the cellular and molecular mechanisms that modulate the addition or elimination of transmitter release machinery within a synapse during development? Understanding how neuronal and synaptic growth is normally controlled may provide the opportunity to manipulate synaptic function for the treatment of neurodegenerative disease or injury to the nervous system.

There are many opportunities for collaboration between the people working on different projects in the laboratory. Our research approaches include quantitative live imaging, synaptic electrophysiology as well as Drosophila genetics and molecular biology. People working with different techniques often collaborate in order to bring different expertise to bear on a single research project. This is very important to the progress of research in the lab.

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