Zuo Laboratory, MCD Biology, UCSC  


Zuo Lab Research

The human brain is an extremely complicated organ, in which billions of neurons make trillions of connections. Synapses are the principal sites at which neurons communicate with one another. Experience-dependent modification of synaptic structure and function provides a cellular mechanism for learning and memory, while abnormal synaptic connections are hallmarks of many neurological and psychiatric disorders. My laboratory studies how the neuronal circuitry is rewired during learning and memory formation, and investigates the cellular mechanisms underlying structural changes of synapses under both physiological and pathological conditions. We utilize the following tools while undertaking this research. 

  • 2-photon imaging to follow dynamic structural and functional changes of individual synapses in the living brain
  • Molecular manipulation for dissecting the underlying mechanism of synaptic plasticity
  • Anatomical and functional tracing of neuronal circuits
  • Behavioral characterization for exploring memory-related mechanisms.

To learn more about our research, visit the following web pages, which provide more detailed about specific research projects and collaborations with other investigators.

Research Projects

Project 1: Synapse remodeling in learning and memory formation

Project 2: Cellular mechanism of spine dynamics

Project 3: Glia's role in synapse plasticity

Collaborative Projects

Funding Agencies

We are grateful for the generous research support provided by the following funding agencies: the National Institute on Aging, the National Institute of Mental Health, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the American Federation for Aging, the Ellison Medical Foundation, the DANA Foundation and the W.M. Keck Foundation.



Related Links:   Dept. of MCD Biology     UCSC Biomedical Research

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