Presidential Assistant ProfessorView Lab Website
778 Clinical Research Building
415 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
We are curious about how neurons communicate. Neurons transfer information extremely rapidly (in milliseconds!) via contacts called synapses. At synapses, small molecules, neurotransmitters, are released via the regulated exocytosis of synaptic vesicles from the presynaptic terminal. Neurotransmitters then bind to specific ionotropic and metabotropic receptors at the postsynaptic membrane and trigger electrical and chemical signals in the downstream neuron, thus passing on the information along the network. We use molecular and pharmacological tools combined with live fluorescence imaging (microscopy) and electrophysiology of cultured neurons to investigate how neurotransmitter release is modulated and how synaptic vesicles are recycled. We are particularly interested in trafficking mechanisms of synaptic vesicle molecules and atypical calcium sources that have the potential to set basal neuron properties and shape the type of information neurons can transfer.
We are also investigating novel forms of neuronal communication, specifically via the release of extracellular vesicles. These secreted vesicles carry neuronal proteins that can change the physiology of the target neuron that incorporates them and have a great potential for targeted delivery of molecules. Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanism of formation, secretion, and incorporation of these neuronal extracellular vesicles and their effects on neurotransmission.
BS (Chemistry), Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina, 2009
PhD (Chemistry), Universidad Nacional de Cordoba, Argentina, 2015
NARSAD Young Investigator Grant, Brain & Behavior Research Foundation (2020-2022)
Cell Biology, Physiology, and Metabolism Graduate Group
Neuroscience Graduate Group
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics Graduate Group