Robert A. Pearce
Professor, Department of Anesthesiology
M.D., Ph.D. University of Virginia-Charlottesville
Inhibitory Synaptic Transmission, Hippocampal Function, and Mechanisms of Anesthetic Action
Research in my laboratory is focused on understanding how anesthetics and other drugs that target GABA receptors control memory formation and consciousness. Using expressed recombinant receptors, hippocampal brain slice preparations, and multichannel in vivo recordings from the hippocampus, we are investigating how inhibitory circuits support and control network activity. We are particularly interested in identifying the molecular components and functional properties of different types of inhibitory synapses that are found on the dendrites of pyramidal neurons and interneurons, and in determining their roles in generating or controlling complex circuit responses, such as theta and gamma oscillations, and in regulating synaptic plasticity.
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