Dr. O’Dell’s lab is currently investigating the synaptic and molecular mechanisms involved in learning and memory formation in the mammalian central nervous system. Electrophysiological techniques are used to study synaptic transmission in a variety of in vitro preparations but most work concerns the mechanisms responsible for long-lasting changes in synaptic transmission that occur in the hippocampus, a region of the brain known to have an important role in learning and memory. In the lab’s experiments, electrophysiological, pharmacological, and molecular genetic (transgenic mice) approaches are used to decipher the molecular components of the biochemical pathways responsible for memory formation in the mammalian brain. The goal is to understand how alterations in these pathways may contribute to the memory impairment that occurs in pathological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease or even as a result of normal aging.
Previous Chairs Include:
Michael Levine, Ph.D. (01/01/2006 – 06/30/2016)