Research

OVERVIEW

The research program in my laboratory is mainly focused on improving our understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the dynamics and trafficking of postsynaptic proteins at healthy and compromised synapses. We are investigating these issues at the neuromuscular junction (the synapse made between a motor axon and a skeletal muscle fiber) because it is the simplest and the best understood of all synapses in the vertebrate nervous system. Our strategy incorporates state-of-the-art imaging to directly observe changes in the neuromuscular junction by viewing the same synapse over days or months and molecular and biochemical tools to investigate the mechanisms underlying these changes.

Current projects

1-Investigate the effect of high-fat diet on the stability of the neuromuscular junction in obese mice.
2-Investigate the effect of dystrophin glycoprotein complex on the stability of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor at the synapse.
3- Investigate how aging alters the stability of the postsynaptic apparatus of the neuromuscular junction.
4-Investigate the spatial and temporal molecular interactions between postsynaptic components at the neuromuscular junction of living mice.
5-Investigate the function of Rapsyn, a scaffold protein, in non-muscle cells.