Deborah BaroProfessor Biology, Neuroscience
P.h.D in Molecular Biology University of Illinois, Chicago 1989
Cellular, Molecular Biology and Physiology Research Group, Monamine Signal Transduction
Dopamine is a modified aromatic amino acid. This monoamine binds to a family of G-protein coupled receptors found on neurons and other cell types, called dopamine receptors. The binding of dopamine to a dopamine receptor can trigger a variety of intracellular signaling cascades that alter neuronal function over many time scales. Dopamine release can be synaptic, paracrine or endocrine. Dopamine signaling plays a key role in nervous system function, and disruption of this signaling system is thought to underpin many pathophysiological conditions including Parkinson’s disease, schizophrenia and cocaine addiction. Cocaine causes prolonged increases in dopamine in the extracellular space. Repeated use of cocaine can lead to persistent changes in neuronal circuits. Our lab focuses on how prolonged elevations in dopamine alter voltage dependent ionic currents and lead to changes in intrinsic neuronal firing properties and circuit output. We use a variety of cellular, molecular and electrophysiological techniques to examine the direct effects of dopamine on identified neurons and to discover the physiological correlates of long-term, dopamine-induced changes in ionic currents.
Email: [email protected]
Lab Telephone: 404-413-5310
Lab Location: 476/ 419/443/445 NSC
Types of Research conducted in lab
Monoamine signal transduction and molecular underpinnings of homeostatic plasticity in neuronal circuits
Lab Members Position Ramyani De PhD Student [email protected] Lori Forster PhD Student [email protected] Meghyn Welch PhD Student [email protected]
Current funding source:
2007-2012, NIH/NIDA: R01DA024039, "Mechanisms underlying opposing neuronal responses to brief vs. prolonged dopamine."