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Personal profile

Research Interests

SYNAPTIC STRUCTURAL PLASTICITY: FROM MOLECULES TO COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS AND DISEASE Research in my lab centers on signal transduction networks that regulate the structural and functional plasticity of excitatory synapses. Synaptic communication between neurons within brain circuits underlies cognitive functions, and is disrupted in numerous neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. Most central excitatory synapses are located on dendritic spines, and spine structure is essential for normal and pathological brain function. Spine dynamics is crucial for the establishment, maintenance, and experience dependent modification of connectivity in neural circuits. Conversely, abnormal dendritic spine morphology occurs in patients with neurodegenerative, psychiatric, and neurodevelopmental disorders, including schizophrenia, autism, and Alzheimer’s disease. As spine morphology is closely associated with cognitive functions, understanding the mechanisms of regulation and dysregulation of spine plasticity is necessary to elucidate the neural bases of cognitive functions and disorders. The long-term goals of my research are: 1) to identify and characterize the molecular mechanisms that control synaptic structural plasticity. 2) to determine how they influence the development, functioning, and plasticity of brain circuits underlying cognition. 3) to uncover the molecular mechanisms underlying synaptic pathology and determine their impact on disease endophenotypes. To to achieve these objectives, we employ a multidisciplinary array of molecular, cellular, imaging, transgenic, electrophysiological, and behavioral approaches, and have assembled an outstanding team of collaborators.

Education/Academic qualification

PhD, SUNY Buffalo

… → 1997

Research interests

  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Brain and Nervous System
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Nervous System Diseases
  • Neuroscience
  • Schizophrenia
  • Signal Transduction

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  • Research Output

    CNTNAP2 is targeted to endosomes by the polarity protein PAR3

    Gao, R., Pratt, C. P., Yoon, S., Martin-de-Saavedra, M. D., Forrest, M. P. & Penzes, P., Feb 1 2020, In : European Journal of Neuroscience. 51, 4, p. 1074-1086 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Common Regulatory Targets of NFIA, NFIX and NFIB during Postnatal Cerebellar Development

    Fraser, J., Essebier, A., Brown, A. S., Davila, R. A., Harkins, D., Zalucki, O., Shapiro, L. P., Penzes, P., Wainwright, B. J., Scott, M. P., Gronostajski, R. M., Bodén, M., Piper, M. & Harvey, T. J., Feb 1 2020, In : Cerebellum. 19, 1, p. 89-101 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 1 Scopus citations

    Estradiol reverses excitatory synapse loss in a cellular model of neuropsychiatric disorders

    Erli, F., Palmos, A. B., Raval, P., Mukherjee, J., Sellers, K. J., Gatford, N. J. F., Moss, S. J., Brandon, N. J., Penzes, P. & Srivastava, D. P., Dec 1 2020, In : Translational psychiatry. 10, 1, 16.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Usp9X Controls Ankyrin-Repeat Domain Protein Homeostasis during Dendritic Spine Development

    Yoon, S., Parnell, E., Kasherman, M., Forrest, M. P., Myczek, K., Premarathne, S., Sanchez Vega, M. C., Piper, M., Burne, T. H. J., Jolly, L. A., Wood, S. A. & Penzes, P., Feb 5 2020, In : Neuron. 105, 3, p. 506-521.e7

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Scopus citations

    A novel role for the late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (LOAD)-associated protein Bin1 in regulating postsynaptic trafficking and glutamatergic signaling

    Schürmann, B., Bermingham, D. P., Kopeikina, K. J., Myczek, K., Yoon, S., Horan, K. E., Kelly, C. J., Martin-de-Saavedra, M. D., Forrest, M. P., Fawcett-Patel, J. M., Smith, K. R., Gao, R., Bach, A., Burette, A. C., Rappoport, J. Z., Weinberg, R. J., Martina, M. & Penzes, P., Jan 1 2019, In : Molecular Psychiatry.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 3 Scopus citations