Brian M. Salzberg, Ph.D.

faculty photo
Professor of Neuroscience
Department: Neuroscience

Contact information
Department of Neuroscience
University of Pennsylvania
Perelman School of Medicine
234 Stemmler Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6074
Office: (215) 898-2441
Fax: (215) 746-2758
B.S. (Physics/Honors)
Yale College (Magna Cum Laude), 1963.
A.M. (Physics)
Harvard University, 1965.
Ph.D. (Physics)
Harvard University, 1972.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Optical measurements of membrane voltage, calcium, secretion, exocytosis.

Key words: Optical recording, voltage-sensitive dye, imaging, light scattering, secretion, excitation-secretion coupling.

Description of Research
Certain substances, when bound to the membranes of neurons, cardiac and skeletal muscle, salivary acini, and other cells, behave as molecular indicators of membrane potential. The optical properties of these molecules, most notably fluorescence and absorbance, vary in a linear fashion with potential and may, therefore, be used to monitor action potentials, synaptic potentials, or other changes in membrane voltage from a large number of sites at once, without the necessity of using electrodes.

Our laboratory is engaged in the development of more sensitive probes, extending the technology associated with their use, and in using these molecular voltmeters for optical recording of membrane potential from hitherto inaccessible regions of single neurons such as axon and neuroendocrine terminals and axonal and dendritic processes, and from many sites simultaneously, with single cell resolution, in simple mammalian nervous systems, in order to study the spatial and temporal patterning of activity.

Also, we are continuing to exploit the optical properties of potentiometric probes to detect the voltage changes in the nerve terminals of vertebrates, and to correlate alterations in the shape of the nerve terminal action potential with the release of neuropeptides monitored through rapid changes in light scattering.

Rotation Projects for 2006-2007
Light scattering changes in nerve terminals; excitation secretion coupling in peptidergic nerve terminals.

Lab personnel:
Ana Lia Obaid - Research Associate Professor of Neuroscience
Paul Kosterin - Research Associate
Gi-Ho Kim - Research Associate

Description of Other Expertise

Song ceramics; Tang ceramics;
Koryo ceramics

Selected Publications

G.H. Kim, P. Kosterin, R. Lartius, A.L. Obaid, and B.M. Salzberg: High Bandwidth Atomic Force Microscopy Reveals a Mechanical Spike During the Action Potential in Mammalian Nerve Terminals. Biophysical Journal 92: 86a, 2007.

Ana Lia Obaid and B.M. Salzberg: Optical Recording of Electrical Activity in Guinea-pig Enteric Networks Using Voltage-sensitive Dyes. Journal of Visualized Experiments 4(34), Dec 2009.

Kosterin P, Kim G H, Muschol M, Obaid A L, Salzberg B M: Changes in FAD and NADH fluorescence in neurosecretory terminals are triggered by calcium entry and by ADP production. The Journal of membrane biology 208(2): 113-24, Nov 2005.

Obaid A L, Nelson M E, Lindstrom J, Salzberg B M: Optical studies of nicotinic acetylcholine receptor subtypes in the guinea-pig enteric nervous system. The Journal of experimental biology 208(Pt 15): 2981-3001, Aug 2005.

Salzberg B M: Optical recording of electrical activity. The Journal of membrane biology 208(2): 89-90, Nov 2005.

A.L. Obaid, L.M. Loew, J.P. Wuskell, and B.M. Salzberg: Novel Naphthylstyryl-pyridinium Potentiometric Dyes Offer Advantages for Neural Network Analysis. J. Neurosci. Methods 134(2): 179-190 2004.

Salzberg B M, Kosterin P V, Muschol M, Obaid A L, Rumyantsev S L, Bilenko Yu, Shur M S: An ultra-stable non-coherent light source for optical measurements in neuroscience and cell physiology. Journal of neuroscience methods 141(1): 165-9, Jan 2005.

Fisher Jonathan A N, Barchi Jonathan R, Welle Cristin G, Kim Gi-Ho, Kosterin Paul, Obaid Ana Lía, Yodh Arjun G, Contreras Diego, Salzberg Brian M: Two-photon excitation of potentiometric probes enables optical recording of action potentials from mammalian nerve terminals in situ. Journal of neurophysiology 99(3): 1545-53, Mar 2008.

S.L. Rumyantsev, M.S. Shur, P.V. Kosterin, Yu. Bilenko, and B.M. Salzberg: Low Frequency Noise and Long-term Stability of Non-coherent Light Sources. Journal of Applied Physics 96: 966-969, 2004.

L. Jin, L.B. Cohen, T. Hughes, V.A. Pieribone, E.Y. Isacoff, B.M. Salzberg and B.J. Baker: Genetically encoded protein sensors of membrane potential. The Voltage Imaging Book. M. Canepari and D. Zecevic (eds.). Springer Verlag, 2009.

back to top
Last updated: 09/28/2017
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania