Photo: A microglial cell. Professor Gene Miller Jonakait studies microglia function.
Areas of Research
Role of synaptic dynamics, such as short-term depression and facilitation, to the generation and control of oscillatory neuronal activity. Study of mechanisms of neuronal plasticity and homeostasis that determine the excitability and electrical activity of neurons and simple neural networks. Electrophysiology, computer modeling, molecular biology, and imaging techniques are used.
The role of prenatal inflammation in the control of brain development with particular reference to the etiology of autism.
Chemistry, Biochemistry and Chemical Biology
Development of high-throughput screening technologies of protein libraries, de novo protein design, metabolic pathway engineering, novel protein display technologies, non-natural amino acids incorporation; biomimetic chemistry; computer modeling of proteins, DNA, and ligands.
Ecology and Evolution
Dynamics of populations, communities, and other complex systems. Patterns of extinction and invasion in space, time, and evolutionary history. Theory and practice of creating and restoring ecosystems. Mathematical tools for conservation.