Lab Overview

We are interested in identifying molecules that protect synapses from the ravages of aging and age-related neurological diseases. Synapses are the sites where information is received and transmitted throughout the central nervous system and between motor neurons and muscles. They are also a primary site of entry for growth factors and other molecules that neurons and muscles need to properly function and survive. In much of our work, we study the motor neuron and muscle synapse, the neuromuscular junction. This is a large and readily accessible synapse that is significantly affected by normal aging and the progression of diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. In parallel, we probe structural and molecular changes in the spinal cord and select brain synapses.

People

We are a diverse group with different scientific and personal interests but with a common bond – to make contributions that will advance science and our society.  Our group is composed of postdoctoral fellows, graduate, medical and undergraduate students. Greg Valdez,

Research

Projects:  A main focus of the lab is to identify molecular factors that maintain and repair the neuromuscular junction, the synapse formed by motor neurons and skeletal muscle fibers.  As the final output of the nervous system, this synapse regulates

Lab Fun

We adhere to the motto, “work hard, play hard”.  On select occasions, we try our hands at sport to remind us of why we are doing research or studying to be a medical doctor. Learning to deal with defeat!