The Grubb lab is interested in neuronal plasticity, which we define as any mechanism by which neurons are changed by their electrical activity. We’re particularly interested in plasticity in a population of neurons with special properties: dopaminergic cells in the olfactory bulb. These cells control sensory processing at its earliest stages, and are incredibly plastic, to the point of being generated throughout life via adult neurogenesis. We use anatomical, electrophysiological and optogenetic approaches to describe how these neurons respond to alterations in sensory experience by changing their structure and function, including plasticity at the axon initial segment (AIS). In doing so, we hope to understand how neuronal plasticity enables networks to adapt to activity perturbations in health and disease.
I have an MRC DTP PhD studentship available: 'Getting nosey about brain repair: how does presynaptic plasticity aid functional integration in regenerating olfactory nerve terminals?' (project 27.2, Theme 2).
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