Translational Control of Memory and Cognitive Disorders
The goal of my laboratory is to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms, as well as the neuronal circuitry, underlying long-term synaptic plasticity, learning and memory. I believe that by studying the mechanisms underlying long-lasting synaptic plasticity and mnemonic processes we can generate corresponding insights into human cognitive disorders.
Our prior work established a critical role for translational control in long-lasting forms of synaptic plasticity and memory formation. My general hypothesis is that translational control is a major regulator of long-lasting synaptic plasticity, behavioral learning, and cognitive disorders. I am also interested in understanding the role of small non-coding RNAs, which regulate gene expression by repressing protein synthesis or mRNA degradation, in learning and memory. To study these processes, in a multidisciplinary approach, we will combine, transgenic manipulation, shRNA and miRNA delivery using lentiviral vectors, biochemical, imaging, behavioral and in vitro and in vivo neurophysiological methodologies.
In a complementary line of research, we intend to elucidate the mechanisms linking translational control with developmental disorders such as Autism and mental retardation and other neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.