Molecular mechanisms of neuron growth
Our lab has a long-standing interest in elucidating the mechanisms that control synapse and dendrite development and how these mechanisms become compromised in neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. We use genetic tools to investigate how disruption of these key regulators impact synapse and dendrite structure and behavior in mice. We use live cell microscopy; fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP); and electrophysiology to test how these manipulations impact neuronal morphogenesis; cytoskeletal dynamics; and neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity in developing neurons. Finally; we use advanced biochemical and biophysical techniques; including single particle tracking in live cells and cryo-EM to understand the structure and function of the molecules under study. We also have a growing interest in using whole exome sequencing of patients to study genes that cause neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. We hope to translate our understanding of the biochemical mechanisms affected by these mutations to develop drugs to treat these disorders.
Tony Koleske received his BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and his Ph.D. in Biology from MIT. He joined the Yale Department of Molecular Biophysics in 1998 and received a joint appointment in Neuroscience in 2007. He enjoys reading (fiction and nonfiction); running; and cooking; and spending time with his family.