PiN Faculty Member - Wade Regehr, PhD

Wade Regehr, PhD

Professor of Neurobiology

Harvard Medical School
Department of Neurobiology
Goldenson Building, Room 308
220 Longwood Avenue
Boston, MA 2115
Tel: 617-432-0435
Fax: 617-734-7557
Visit my lab page here.

Our long-term goal is to determine how presynaptic neurons influence the firing of their targets and to understand how physiologically significant computations are performed by synapses. Fast chemical synapses are the primary means of communication between neurons. They are constantly modified by a variety of mechanisms in ways that are vital to memory formation and normal brain function. With calcium implicated in almost every aspect of transmission, my focus has been on the many basic questions regarding calcium control of synaptic strength in the mammalian brain, including retrograde signaling by endocannabinoids. It is clear that many calcium dependent processes work together to control the release of neurotransmitter. These include synaptic facilitation, chemical messenger mediated release, depression and delayed release of neurotransmitter. My strategy has been to examine each of these mechanisms in isolation and then to determine how they interact to control synapses during realistic spike trains. In recent years we have begun to study small circuits.

Most of the studies have been performed on synapses in the cerebellum, which are well described anatomically, accessible and relatively easy to study. Many studies are also performed within the LGN at synapses between retinal ganglion cells, local interneurons that can release GABA from their dendrites, and thalamic relay neurons. The primary experimental approaches are 2 photon imaging of calcium, electrophysiological measurements, and the manipulation of cell firing with channelrhodopsin-2. These studies will be augmented by serial electron microscopy, array tomography, in vivo studies, the development of transgenic mice and behavior.

Last Update: 5/12/2014


For a complete listing of publications click here.



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