Molecular and Functional Diversity of Synapses and Circuits
Synapses are specialized junctions that transfer information between neurons through presynaptic release of a chemical neurotransmitter and postsynaptic receptor activation. The molecular and functional diversity of neurotransmitter receptors present in the mammalian brain allows for complex information processing. The diverse spatial and temporal expression patterns of neurotransmitter receptor subtypes contribute to region-specific functions in the brain and result in specific brain circuits being susceptible to disease.
The Swanger Lab, led by Sharon Swanger, Ph.D., lab seeks to advance neuroscience research and therapies by building fundamental knowledge of synapse physiology and developing approaches to correct synapse pathophysiology underlying disease. The lab's research employs physiological, pharmacological, biochemical, and optical methods to determine the organization, function, and therapeutic potential of precise neurotransmitter receptor populations in the brain. Moreover, we utilize the inherent diversity of synaptic receptors to design and test strategies for tuning brain function in mouse models of epilepsy.