Assistant Professor Biomedical Sciences Department 223 Padnos Hall Allendale, Michigan 49401 Phone: 616-331-8813
See available times here,
or by appointment
My research interests center around a functional, real-time measure of neurotransmission. Neurons send and receive information through chemical means, transducing electrical signals into chemical signals. These transmissions occur on a very fast time-scale, in the millisecond time frame.
One of the best methods for monitoring neurotransmission in real time is called Fast-Scan Cyclic Voltammetry (FSCV). Fast-scan because it is happening fast: every 100 ms; cyclic because it happens repeatedly; and voltammetry because it deals with voltage changes. In brief, when a carbon surface reaches a certain voltage, and a neurotransmitter is next to it, the neurotransmitter will oxidize (like metal rusting). You can measure this reaction and use it to look at changes in neurotransmitter concentration.
The goal of my lab is two-fold: 1) continue to improve neurotransmitter recording techniques, and 2) to classify and understand neurotransmission in the crayfish. Crayfish communicate through chemical means, but little is known about their neurotransmission in real-time, or what neurotransmitters are released, if any, during confrontation. Using FSCV to measure crayfish neurotransmission will allow us to better understand this organism and how it communicates with others. Currently my research is focused on enhancing electrode sensitivity, with crayfish work to occur in 2013 or 2014.