UC Davis Neurosciences

University of California Davis Neuroscience occurs both at the Sacramento campus, home of UC Davis Health System and at the UC Davis campus 15 miles west of Sacramento.

The Center for Neuroscience is UC Davis' hub for studying the entire scope of neuroscience, ranging from cellular and molecular neurobiology, through systems and developmental neuroscience, to studies of human perception, memory, language, and the nature of consciousness. Some of the major UC Davis Health System research centers include the UC Davis MIND Institute, Eye and Pain Medicine Centers.

Kit S. Lam, MD/PhD – UC Davis

Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine, UC Davis
Professor, Hematology and Oncology, UC Davis
Director, Kit Lamb Lab

Dr. Lam is an expert in combinatorial chemistry, chemical biology, drug development, molecular imaging, nanotherapeutics and medical oncology. His laboratory is engaged in the development and application of combinatorial library methods for basic research and drug discovery.

John Wingfield, PhD – UC Davis

Professor of Neurobiology, Physiology, and Behavior at UCDavis and former head of NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences
Ex Officio member of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director

Dr. Wingfield is particularly interested in how animals perceive the environment (and what cues they use to time the stages of the life cycle), the neural pathways by which those signals are transduced into neuroendocrine and endocrine secretions, and the mechanisms by which these hormones regulate morphology, physiology and behavior.

Kit Lamb Lab – UCDavis

Principal Investigator: Kit S. Lam
UC Davis Center for Neuroscience

The main focus of the Lam Lab lies in discovering revolutionary and innovative methods of disease treatment on a nano-scale and molecular scale. The lab work is most related to molecular medicine, drug discovery, nanoparticle and drug-delivery techniques in cancer and other diseases. Our research is done through the use of cutting edge technologies and established procedures.

John Yu-Luen Lin, PhD – UCSD

Research Scientist, Tsien Lab, UC San Diego

Lin's current research interests include developing new molecular techniques to map activities of neurons, manipulating the strength of communication between neurons and disrupting intracellular signaling. These new techniques can be used to understand how neurons encode and store information, with potential implications for ameliorating Alzheimer’s disease, addiction, traumatic brain injury, and neurodegeneration.

Tsien Lab – UCSD

Principal Investigator: Roger Tsien
Research Scientist: John Yu-Luen Lin

The multicolored fluorescent proteins developed in Tsien's lab are used by scientists to track where and when certain genes are expressed in cells or in whole organisms. Typically, the gene coding for a protein of interest is fused with the gene for a fluorescent protein, which causes the protein of interest to glow inside the cell when the cell is irradiated with ultraviolet light and allows microscopists to track its location in real time. This is such a popular technique that it has added a new dimension to the fields of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry.

Tian Lab – UC Davis

Principal Investigator: Lin Tian
UC Davis Neuroscience

The goal of Tian Lab's research is to invent new molecular tools for analyzing and engineering functional neural circuits. We also leverage these tools, combined with optical imaging techniques, to study molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders at system level and to empower searching for novel therapeutic treatments.

Lin Tian, PhD – UC Davis

Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Medicine
Director, Tian Lab

The goal of Tian's research is to invent new molecular tools for analyzing and engineering functional neural circuits. We also leverage these tools, combined with optical imaging techniques, to study molecular mechanisms of neurological disorders at system level and to empower searching for novel therapeutic treatments.

Genetic sensors for biogenic amines

Principal Investigator: Lin Tian
UC Davis Neuroscience
Title: " Genetically encoded sensors for the biogenic amines: watching neuromodulation in action"
BRAIN Category: Large-Scale Recording-Modulation - New Technologies (RFA NS-14-007)

Dr. Tian and her colleagues will create sensors that will allow researchers to see how molecules like dopamine, norepinephrine and serotonin regulate activity of neural circuits and behavior in living animals.

Genetically encoded reporters

Principal Investigator: Kit S. Lam
UC Davis Center for Neuroscience
Title: "Genetically encoded reporters of integrated neural activity for functional mapping of neural circuitry"
BRAIN Category: Large-Scale Recording-Modulation - New Technologies (RFA NS-14-007)

Dr. Lam's team plans to develop fluorescent sensors that will mark ion channels, molecules that help control information flow in the brain, and enable scientists to observe the neurons that are activated during a specific behavior, such as running.

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