Research Projects

Haas Lab Research

Dendritogenesis

Correct neuronal growth during early brain development is crucial to creating appropriate neural network structures necessary for all brain functions. Work from our laboratory and others finds that neuronal activity, including that driven by natural...

Role of Mitochondria on Synaptic Plasticity

Mitochondria, intracellular organelles known for generating energy for cellular machinery, may also function as central modulators of synaptic plasticity. Previous publications have shown that mitochondria localization in dendritic arbors is...

Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is associated with glutamate hypo-function. We use direct in vivo imaging of brain neuron growth under conditions of reduced glutamatergic transmission to investigate whether abnormal brain structures are formed.

Autism

The cell adhesion molecules Neurexin and Neuroligin play important roles in synapse formation and maturation. Mutations in both have been identified in families with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs) suggesting a synaptic abnormality contributing to...

Epilepsy

The immature brain is exceptionally susceptible to seizures, and in the majority of individuals who develop epilepsy, the onset of spontaneous seizures occurs during childhood. However, it remains unclear whether early-life seizures affect critical...

Developmental Neuronal Plasticity

Using single-cell electroporation for controlling gene expression in individual neurons within the intact developing brain we are dissecting the molecular pathways mediating developmental brain plasticity. Our findings that the kinase PKMz regulates...

Neural Network Plasticity

Using rapid two-photon imaging and calcium sensitive dyes as indicators of neuronal firing we can sample activity of 100s of neurons within the intact and awake developing brain. We explore how developing brain neural networks encode sensory...