Monday, August 27, 2018 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Hedco Neurosciences Building (HNB), HNB 100
3641 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089
The structure of the nervous system varies tremendously across phylogeny; organisms such as the C. elegans function with a few hundred neurons, whereas humans have tens of billions. Yet communication in all neural circuits is controlled by a remarkably similar, highly specialized site of cell-cell contact known as a synapse. The long-range goal of our research is to discover how synapses are formed and lost, and what impact normal morphology and numbers of synapses have on brain function. My talk will focus on new findings related to the mechanisms that enable neurons to decide at which axon-dendritic contacts to make synapses and how synaptic plasticity modifies the nanoarchitecture of the spine synapse.