Mechanisms of local anesthetic neurotoxicity

The Burden lab uses a multidisciplinary approach to understand how neuromuscular synapses form during development and how synapes are maintained and stablized in adults. Moreover, they study the causes for neuromuscular diseases, including congenital myasthenia, myasthenia gravis and ALS, and we are using this knowledge to devise therapeutic strategies for these diseases.

The long term goal of Dr Carr's research is to illuminate the way in which neuroadaptations that promote survival during periods of food scarcity in the wild may be subverted by drugs and supranormally rewarding foods to promote pathological reward-directed behavior. This work may improve understanding of the high comorbidity of disordered eating and drug abuse, the basis of severe dieting as a risk factor for binge pathology, and risks associated with psychostimulant use for appetite suppression and weight loss.

The Carter lab primarily studies the functional properties of neurons and circuits in the prefrontal cortex, which is important for high-level behaviors ranging from cognition to emotion.They are interested in how different excitatory and inhibitory neurons communicate within the prefrontal cortex.

In the brain, the pH shifts associated with electrical activity are regionally specific, and go through developmental changes that parallel the maturation of the neuroglia. The focus of the Chesler laboratory is to elucidate the mechanisms which rapidly transport acid during neuronal activity, to establish the role of the neuroglia in brain pH regulation, and to determine how H+ may serve as an intracellular and extracellular signal in brain function.

Dr Coetzee's research is focused on examining electrophysiological processes in the cardiovascular system, with emphasis on K+ channels and their role in regulating cardiac excitability. They hope to provide a better understanding of the complex molecular diversity of ion channels in the cardiovascular system and add to the understanding of the relationships between the structure and function of channel proteins in health and disease.

Dr. Delmar’s academic interest is in the molecular mechanisms of cardiac arrhythmias, with special focus on the role of intercellular communication in controlling heart rhythm. Dr. Delmar’s current research centers on gap junctions as pharmacological targets, and on the interactions between gap junctions, desmosomes and the sodium channel complex in the regulation of electrical activity in the heart.

Dr Feske's research is focused on signaling pathways in cells of the immune system, particularly store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) and CRAC calcium channel function. We are investigating the mechanisms of CRAC channel activation and how calcium signals affect immune function in the context of infection and autoimmunity.

The telencephalon both houses the highest level of neural processing and is the most phylogentically divergent structure in the CNS. In adult mammals, the dorsal pallial telencephalon gives rise to the laminar, cortical regions of brain, whereas the ventral aspect develops into the nuclear components of the basal ganglia. The Fishell lab investigates how these regional differences arise.

The Fishman laboratory focuses on several facets of cardiovascular biology and disease, including the formation and function of the heart's specialized cardiac conduction system (CCS) and investigating arrhythmia mechanisms, focusing especially on the dysregulation of gap junction channels and the associated abnormalities in impulse propagation.