We use a variety of techniques including electrophysiology, immunocytochemisty, imaging, optogenetics, tissue culture, molecular biology and in vivo physiology and animal models to study the functional changes of the central nervous system in physiological and pathological conditions. Our current research interests include:
- Modulation of synaptic transmission and plasticity in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex. Using infrared video microscopy and patch-clamp recording techniques, we are able to record the synaptic activity or ion channel currents from visually identified neurons in slices. The synaptic activities and ion channel functions are modulated by numerous modulators including neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. We are exploring the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms using molecular biology, pharmacology and transgenic animal models.
- The functional changes of neurons induced by the neurotransmitters and neuromodulators are likely to be responsible for a variety of physiological functions such as learning and memory or clinical disorders including epilepsy, anxiety, Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and autism. We are using in vivo disease models to study the roles of these neuromodulators in these clinical disorders. Our research would likely to provide clues at the molecular and cellular levels to treat neurological diseases.