Welcome to the Halpain Lab web page at The University of California San Diego. Our laboratory investigates the molecular basis
for neuronal growth, plasticity, and degeneration. We focus on cytoskeletal
proteins of dendrites and dendritic spines, which are the postsynaptic
elements of neurons. The dendrites and dendritic spines of
nerve cells are often damaged in conditions like stroke, epilepsy, AIDS
dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, emerging evidence
implicates abnormal growth of dendrites and spines in mental retardation.
Our lab uses a variety of techniques, including molecular biology, protein
biochemistry, and light microscopy to uncover basic principals of neuronal
structure and function. Our studies explore the role of transmembrane
signals in regulating cytoskeletal proteins in neurons. There
are two main projects in the lab.
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