University of Wisconsin–Madison

Membrane Excitability and Synaptic Transmission

The nervous system uses electrical signals to encode and process information. These signals take the form of action potentials within neurons and synaptic potentials between neurons. The molecules responsible for these signals include voltage-gated channels, which generate and shape action potentials; neurotransmitter receptors, which generate and shape synaptic potentials; and membrane trafficking proteins, which catalyze the fusion of neurotransmitter-containing vesicles with the plasma membrane. Research into membrane excitability and synaptic transmission provides insight into the cellular and molecular basis for learning and memory, and illuminates the molecular mechanisms of neurological disease and drug action. Faculty in the Neuroscience Training Program investigate these questions in a wide variety of models from yeast and Drosophila to humans, using a broad range of techniques including patch clamping, electrophysiology, and cellular imaging.


Tracy L. Baker

Associate Professor, Department of Comparative Biosciences

(608) 890-2964

Matthew I. Banks

Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

(608) 261-1143

Michael Cahill

Assistant Professor, Department of Comparative Biosciences

Baron Chanda

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 265-3936

Edwin R. Chapman

Professor, Department of Neuroscience; Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

(608) 263-1762

Cynthia Czajkowski

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 265-5863

Mrinalini Hoon

Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences

(608) 263-8495

Meyer B. Jackson

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 262-9111

Mathew V. Jones

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 263-4394

Donata Oertel

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 263-6281

Robert A. Pearce

Chair and Professor, Department of Anesthesiology

(608) 263-0208

Gail A. Robertson

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 265-3339

Subhojit Roy

Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Pathology

(608) 263-1227

Arnold E. Ruoho

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 263-5382

Paul A. Rutecki

Professor and Vice Chairperson, Department of Neurology; Director of VA Northwest Epilepsy Center of Excellence

(608) 263-5448

Raunak Sinha

Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 265-7836

Anthony O. W. Stretton

Professor, Department of Integrative Biology

(608) 262-2172

Lea Ziskind-Conhaim

Professor, Department of Neuroscience

(608) 263-3382