Most information transfer in the central nervous system relies on fast, chemical transmission at small synapses, specialized neuron–neuron junction points at which presynaptic and postsynaptic structures lie closely apposed.

Research in our lab is focussed on investigating novel features of synaptic operation and their relevance for information flow in hippocampal neurons.

One important current emphasis is on looking at the regulation of presynaptic vesicle traffic as a potential determinant of synaptic efficacy. We also examine postsynaptic mechanisms that regulate presynaptic efficacy as well as considering the impact of misfolded proteins associated with neurodegenerative disease on synaptic vesicle release properties. 

We rely on a range of cutting-edge fluorescence-based imaging and correlative light-electron microscopy approaches, single-synapse manipulation methods and electrophysiology. We have recently developed methods to examine ultrastructural properties of functional vesicle pools in acute slice and in vivo.

(Nature Comms, 2015; Nature Prot, 2014; Neuron, 2012)

Research video