Amy Gleichman

Image of the Month

Image of a tuber found in a block of cerebral cortex from an epilepsy surgery patient diagnosed with tuberous sclerosis complex. Aberrant neural progenitors visualized with a nestin antibody (red/brown diaminobenzidine reaction product). Surgery by Dr. Gary Mathern, Pathological evaluation: Dr Harry Vinters.


By: Drs. Julia Chang and Geoff Owens


The Neuroscience Interdepartmental Program


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Upcoming Events

Joint Seminars in Neuroscience Lecture Series

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Neuroscience Research Building (NRB) 1st Floor Auditorium


Ellen Lumpkin, Ph.D.

Departments of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics & Dermatology, Columbia University, New York, New York

"Mechanisms of Neurotransmission in Mammalian Touch Receptors”


Distinct sensations such as pressure, flutter and pain are triggered by mechanosensory neurons that innervate skin.  A growing body of evidence indicates that epithelial cells actively participate in sensation by modulating, and even directly exciting, mechanosensory neurons in healthy skin and pathophysiological conditions.  This research aims to unveil how epithelial Merkel cells work in concert with the nervous system to generate touch sensation.  Using mouse genetics and optogenetics, we found that Merkel cells have dual roles: they transduce sustained firing that signals pressure, and boost firing rates of tactile afferents during dynamic touch.  Our current studies focus on defining mechanisms of neurotransmission between Merkel cells and sensory afferents, and elucidating how connections between Merkel cells and mechanosensory neurons are established during development and maintained during healthy skin renewal.

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