Drosophila neuromuscular junction immunostained presynaptically for Hrp (red) and postsynaptically for Dlg (green)

Cells and Signals

Cellular and molecular neuroscience is the study of how molecules control the cellular functions and survival of neurons. Researchers with expertise in genetics, molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology, electrophysiology, and cellular imaging ask cause-and-effect questions about mechanisms.

For example, questions our cellular and molecular neuroscientists are addressing in their laboratories include:

  • How do proteins in neurons alter excitability, allowing us to think, feel, remember, and forget? 
  • How are thoughts encoded by changes in synaptic transmission and plasticity?
  • How is the outside world (light, sounds, odors) detected and understood by our nervous system? 
  • How does the nervous system handle touch and pain?
  • How are the structure and function of neurons altered by experience?
  • How are genes regulated and how does the regulation change with experience, development, and disease?
  • What happens when neurons die, and how can neuronal damage and death be mitigated?

Faculty studying cells and signals