Synaptic Changes During Ocular Dominance Plasticity
Our group uses advanced imaging techniques to study the structure and function of single cells in networks in the intact brain in order to understand how visual activity shapes the structure and function of connections between neurons in the visual cortex. During the critical period, closure of one eye leads to a shift in the responses of neurons in the visual cortex towards the open eye. Our work focuses on the structural basis for this rapid ocular dominance plasticity using in vivo two-photon microscopy to elucidate single cell structure deep in the intact brain.
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Microglial Function in the Healthy Brain
Traditionally, microglia are thought to be quiescent in the healthy brain and to activate only during episodes of brain injury or disease (such Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis and epilepsy), where they play both neuroprotective and neurodegenerative roles. Recently, in vivo imaging revealed that even when quiescent, microglia are highly dynamic and their processes are constantly surveying brain tissue for signs of neural damage.
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Influence of Neuronal Activity on Tumor Colonization of the Brain
Many cancer patients develop neurological side effects such as depression,
chemobrain, or epilepsy. To manage these side effects, many neurological agents are currently prescribed to breast cancer patients either prophylactically or in response to symptoms without a clear understanding of how these may affect metastasis.
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