For all the latest news from the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience
For all the latest news from the Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience
Publications from Primary Faculty Members - March 2017:
Gao M, Whitt JL, Huang S, Lee A, Mihalas S, Kirkwood A, Lee HK. Experience-dependent homeostasis of 'noise' at inhibitory synapses preserves information coding in adult visual cortex. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 2017 Mar 5;372(1715). pii: 20160156. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0156.
Publications from Primary Faculty Members - February 2017:
Agarwal A, Wu PH, Hughes EG, Fukaya M, Tischfield MA, Langseth AJ, Wirtz D, Bergles DE. Transient Opening of the Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore Induces Microdomain Calcium Transients in Astrocyte Processes. Neuron. 2017 Feb 8;93(3):587-605.e7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2016.12.034. Epub 2017 Jan 26.
Diering GH, Nirujogi RS, Roth RH, Worley PF, Pandey A, Huganir RL. Homer1a drives homeostatic scaling-down of excitatory synapses during sleep. Science. 2017 Feb 3;355(6324):511-515. doi: 10.1126/science.aai8355. Epub 2017 Feb 2.
Fu C, Xu J, Cheng W, Rojas T, Chin AC, Snowman AM, Harraz MM, Snyder SH. Neuronal migration is mediated by inositol hexakisphosphate kinase 1 via α-actinin and focal adhesion kinase. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 Feb 2. pii: 201700165. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1700165114. [Epub ahead of print]
Yue WW, Frederiksen R, Ren X, Luo DG, Yamashita T, Shichida Y, Cornwall MC, Yau KW. Spontaneous activation of visual pigments in relation to openness/closedness of chromophore-binding pocket. Elife. 2017 Feb 10;6. pii: e18492. doi: 10.7554/eLife.18492.
The hippocampus is a brain area involved in learning and memory. The dentate gyrus, a subregion of the hippocampus, may prevent interference between similar memories, but it is unclear how the two main dentate gyrus cell types, granule cells and mossy cells, contribute to this process. GoodSmith et al. recorded from granule cells and mossy cells as rats explored distinct environments. Different groups of granule cells fired in different environments, but mossy cells fired in multiple locations in most environments, a feature previously attributed to granule cells. This study resolves a longstanding debate about the firing properties of granule cells, shows that mossy cells have spatial firing, and describes distinct ways in which granule cells and mossy cells can contribute to the ability to distinguish between environments.
Sleep is an essential process that plays a critical role in supporting cognitive functions such as learning and memory consolidation. Synapses in the brain are the structures responsible for forming and maintaining memories. Studying mice, we found that synapses become stronger while the mice were awake and weaker during sleep by removal of the neurotransmitter receptors called AMPA receptors. This is a process called homeostatic scaling-down. Scaling-down during sleep was driven by a protein called Homer1a which builds up in neurons while the mice were awake but is prevented from accessing the synapses until sleep, by the arousal promoting neuromodulator noradrenaline. In this way, the scaling of synapses is limited while awake and engaged as we transition to sleep. Homer1a targeting to synapses was also observed during sleep deprivation, activated by the sleep promoting neuromodulator adenosine. Sleep is well known to enhance memory consolidation whereas sleep deprivation greatly impairs memory formation. Our study suggests that weakening of synapses during sleep contributes to learning and memory, and that if this process is engaged during sleep deprivation memories become lost.
Publications from Primary Faculty Members - January 2017:
Cave C, Park S, Rodriguez M, Nakamura M, Hoke A, Pletnikov M, Sockanathan S. GDE2 is essential for neuronal survival in the postnatal mammalian spinal cord. Mol Neurodegener. 2017 Jan 19;12(1):8. doi: 10.1186/s13024-017-0148-1.
Publications from Primary Faculty Members - December 2016:
Bedont JL, LeGates TA, Buhr E, Bathini A, Ling JP, Bell B, Wu MN, Wong PC, Van Gelder RN, Mongrain V, Hattar S, Blackshaw S. An LHX1-Regulated Transcriptional Network Controls Sleep/Wake Coupling and Thermal Resistance of the Central Circadian Clockworks. Curr Biol. 2017 Jan 9;27(1):128-136. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2016.11.008. Epub 2016 Dec 22.
Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Like many great ideas, Project Bridge emerged from confusion. Daniel Pham, a Ph.D. candidate in neuroscience, was unsuccessful in his attempt to describe to his partner the intricacies of his research. The communication breakdown led Pham and colleagues to found Project Bridge, “with the goal of getting scientists to communicate and connect with the public,” he says. The outreach program features talks and demonstrations by Johns Hopkins scientists in farmers markets, cafes and restaurants. In September, Project Bridge brought Baltimore Brain Fest, a daylong neuroscience expo, to a city elementary school. “It’s a very grass-roots approach, getting bystanders to come by and having scientists in the community, explaining rudimentary topics,” Pham says.
This Society for Neuroscience podcast takes the listener through the process of publishing a paper, starting from the initial conceptions of the experiment through to the final publication. Viewpoints from both the authors of the paper and journal editors are explored. In episode 2, starting at ~10:00, Jim Knierim, a former Reviewing Editor of The Journal of Neuroscience, discusses the sometimes tricky balance between trying to “sell” your work in order to make it appealing to a broad audience while not also over-selling the work by overinterpreting the results or making promises in the introduction that are ultimately not delivered in the results. He also emphasizes the importance of careful preparation of a manuscript before submission.
Listen to the Peril of Publishing Podcast episode on Neuroonline
Language, music, art, religious worship, self-awareness, planning, problem-solving, making tools. No other animal has all of these aptitudes. All rely on a single organ: the brain. But the brain is the most poorly understood organ of the human body. Seeking to change that, a $20 million partnership between the Kavli Foundation and The Johns Hopkins University was formed on Oct. 1, 2015. The Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute (Kavli NDI), led by neuroscientist Richard Huganir and computational scientist Michael Miller, is an interdisciplinary group of Johns Hopkins scientists who will harness the problem-solving aptitudes of their brains to devise tools that unlock the mysteries of neuroscience.
Daniel O’Connor was among 102 scientists and engineers named on Jan. 9 by President Obama as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
A clump of just a few thousand brain cells, no bigger than a mustard seed, controls the daily ebb and flow of most bodily processes in mammals -- sleep/wake cycles, most notably. Now, Johns Hopkins scientists report direct evidence in mice for how those cell clusters control sleep and relay light cues about night and day throughout the body.
Publications from Primary Faculty Members - November 2016:
The Kavli Institute hosted a roundtable discussion with Joshua Vogelstein, a member of the Johns Hopkins Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute (KNDI), Alex Szala, Director of the Hopkins Institute for Data Intesive science, and Christof Koch , President and Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science.
Xinzhong Dong, PhD., Professor of Neuroscience, Neurosurgery, and Dermatology, and HHMI Investigator received the 2016 Donlin M. Long Pain Service Award on November 2nd.
The Potter lab uses neurogenetic techniques to identify olfactory neurons in the Anopheles gambiae malaria mosquito. The group identifies that mosquitoes may have a brain region dedicated to the integration of smells and tastes given off by people.
Research reveals how PSD forms and why defects can cause autism
Drs. Guo-li Ming and Hongjun Song, Professors of Neurology and Neuroscience, in collaboration with the Natiional Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NIH), have identified small-molecule drugs that may prove effective in stopping the Zika Virus. Their work was recently published in Nature Medicine.