Personal profile

Research interests

We study chemical excitation and inhibition by neurotransmitters in the central nervous system. Chemical transmission requires a fine balance as over-excitation or over-inhibition is detrimental to function and survival of neurons. In one project, we are studying the role of astrocytes in supporting the development and maintenance of chemical transmission. One branch of this project is studying the role of astrocytes in neuroenergetics. Another major emphasis is a collaborative effort to understand the mechanisms by which endogenous neuroactive steroids directly modulate GABA and glutamate receptor function. A final project uses a foreign dopamine-gated ion channel to interrogate and control dopamine transmission. For our studies we use electrophysiological, molecular, chemical biology and imaging techniques applied to neurons in culture, to brain slices, and to animals.


I run a fairly small lab and have had no more than 2 students and 2 postdocs at a time during my career. I value proactivity in students. I meet weekly with trainees and expect them to set weekly goals. I try to hold trainees accountable to these goals while recognizing that nature often does not reveal her secrets readily. I work hard to customize my approach to my view of a student’s strengths and weaknesses. One of the wonderful things that I have found about science is that a trainee can bring their own individuality to bear on a problem. I try to coax this individual perspective out of trainees.

Available to Mentor:

  • Post-Baccalaureate Students
  • PhD/MSTP Students
  • Postdocs
  • Residents and Fellows


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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