Department of Neuroscience
Baylor College of Medicine
One Baylor PlazaHouston, TX 77030
2009 Searle Scholar
Translational Control of Memory and Cognitive Disorders
The goal of my laboratory is to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms, as well as the neuronal circuitry, underlying long-term synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. I believe that by studying the mechanisms underlying long-lasting synaptic plasticity and mnemonic processes we can generate corresponding insights into human cognitive disorders.
Our prior work established a critical role for translational control in long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and memory formation. My general hypothesis is that translational control is a major regulator of long-lasting synaptic plasticity, behavioral learning, and cognitive disorders. I am also interested in understanding the role of small non-coding RNAs, which regulate gene expression by repressing protein synthesis or mRNA degradation, in learning and memory. To study these processes, in a multidisciplinary approach, we will combine, transgenic manipulation, shRNA and miRNA delivery using lentiviral vectors, biochemical, imaging, behavioral and in vitro and in vivo neurophysiological methodologies.
In a complementary line of research, we intend to elucidate the mechanisms linking translational control with developmental disorders such as Autism and mental retardation and other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
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