A central goal of my current research is to define the circuits and mechanisms by which light influences our behavior and physiology. Funds from the Alfred P. Sloan foundation will be used to pursue exciting recent data from my lab showing that ipRGCs may co-release glutamate and GABA. The current dogma in the field is that all RGCs, including ipRGCs, release only the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate, with M1 ipRGCs also releasing the neuromodulator PACAP. However, we now have recent immunohistochemical, viral, and optogenetic evidence that ipRGCs also release the inhibitory neurotransmitter, GABA. This finding shakes the foundations of our understanding of how RGCs signal within the brain, and identifies an unexpected layer of complexity in visual processing. Our lab will utilize a suite of cutting-edge genetic, electrophysiological, viral, optogenetic, and behavioral approaches to define the extent, location, and behavioral consequences of GABAergic signaling by ipRGCs.
|Effective start/end date||9/15/17 → 9/14/21|
- Alfred P. Sloan Foundation (FG-2017-9499)