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Welcome to our website!

dr smithIt is with great pleasure that I introduce you to
our laboratory and ongoing research activities. I am extremely fortunate to have a fantastic team of talented colleagues working with me. Together, we form a cohesive, friendly, family of which the goal is to achieve solid scientific work in a relaxed and pleasant atmosphere.

The primary goal of the research done in my laboratory is to elucidate various aspects of the synaptic circuitry of the primate basal ganglia. We are working to understand the neurochemical changes that mediate cell death and abnormal motor behaviors in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease and Huntington's chorea. To reach these objectives we use
a large variety of anatomical, molecular and electrophysiological techniques that allow characterizing the subsynaptic localization and elucidating functions of specific subsets of receptors and transmitters on basal ganglia neurons.

Particular families of receptors that currently generate interest in my laboratory are the “metabotropic G protein-coupled glutamate and GABA receptors". Over the next few years, we will be looking at the synaptic localization and electrophysiological effects of these receptors on various populations of basal ganglia neurons in normal monkeys and animal models of Parkinson's disease. Finally, we use the basic findings collected through these studies to design behavioral tests to assess the potential therapeutic effects of drugs related to these receptors in monkey models of Parkinson's disease (MPTP-treated monkeys).

Together, the findings of these studies provide strong basis for understanding the role of G protein-coupled glutamate and GABA receptors in the primate basal ganglia, and serve as a substrate for the development of novel therapeutic strategies for Parkinson's disease.


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