Ronald CalabreseDepartment of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA F1000 Faculty Member (since 26 June 2009)
Professor, Department of Biology, Emory University
BS, Cornell University, 1969
Stanford University, 1970
PhD, Stanford University, 1975
Our lab studies the neural circuit that controls the hearts of medicinal leeches. We record the electrical activity of neurons in this circuit with microelectrodes. Using voltage clamp techniques, we isolate and characterize the individual ionic currents which contribute to this activity. We also study the biophysics of synaptic transmission and the role of background calcium in synaptic plasticity using Ca imaging. To understand how membrane currents and synaptic transmission interact to produce the activity of the circuit, we simulate the ionic currents and cell connectivity with realistic biophysical models. We also use such models in real time simulation to construct hybrid systems between computer and neuron to analyze circuit and neuronal function. We address the general questions of how rhythmic motor patterns are generated and coordinated by networks of interneurons and how these patterns are used to produce the final pattern of activity in motor neurons that produce functionally coordinated movement.
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