The Program in Neuroscience is an academic program of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Neuroscience investigators focus on: the neural, molecular, and genetic mechanisms that underlie nervous system development, learning and memory, addiction, glial responses to neuronal injury, and circadian rhythmicity; mechanisms of synaptic neurotransmitter release, analysis of how neurotransmitter receptors and membrane channels operate, and how drugs act on these processes to modify cellular function and behavior; magnetic resonance imaging technology to study and map changes in the brain associated with physiological stimuli as well as drugs of abuse; and disorders of the central nervous system, with special emphasis on neurodegenerative disorders, autism spectrum disorders, mental retardation and other developmental disabilities. This collection showcases publications and presentations authored by students in this program.

Attention GSBS Neuroscience students: To submit your publications, go to GSBS Student Publications and click on Submit Research in the left sidebar. You’ll need to log in or create a free account. If you have the article's PubMed ID, submission is very easy. Enter the PubMed ID and information from PubMed will be used to populate the submission form. Questions? Contact Lisa Palmer.

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Publications from 2013

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Monoaminergic orchestration of motor programs in a complex C. elegans behavior, Jamie L. Donnelly, Christopher M. Clark, Andrew M. Leifer, Jennifer K. Pirri, Marian Haburcak, Michael M. Francis, Aravinthan D. T. Samuel, and Mark J. Alkema

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A single pair of interneurons commands the Drosophila feeding motor program, Thomas F. Flood, Shinya Iguchi, Michael Gorczyca, Benjamin White, Kei Ito, and Motojiro Yoshihara

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Activation of mammalian target of rapamycin mediates rat pain-related responses induced by BmK I, a sodium channel-specific modulator, Feng Jiang, Xue-Yan Pang, Qing-Shan Niu, Li-Ming Hua, Ming Cheng, and Yong-Hua Ji

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Regulation of postsynaptic retrograde signaling by presynaptic exosome release, Ceren Korkut, Yihang Li, Kate Koles, Cassandra Brewer, James A. Ashley, Motojiro Yoshihara, and Vivian Budnik

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Transposition-driven genomic heterogeneity in the Drosophila brain, Paola N. Perrat, Shamik DasGupta, Jie Wang, William E. Theurkauf, Zhiping Weng, Michael Rosbash, and Scott Waddell

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ACR-12 ionotropic acetylcholine receptor complexes regulate inhibitory motor neuron activity in Caenorhabditis elegans, Hilary A. Petrash, Alison Philbrook, Marian Haburcak, Belinda Barbagallo, and Michael M. Francis

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Passively transferred human NMO-IgG exacerbates demyelination in mouse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, Harleen Saini, Robert Rifkin, Michael Gorelik, Hwa Huang, Zachary Ferguson, Melina V. Jones, and Michael Levy

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A role for alpha4(non-alpha6)* nicotinic acetylcholine receptors in motor behavior, Lindsey G. Soll, Sharon R. Grady, Outi Salminen, Michael J. Marks, and Andrew R. Tapper

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A role for Drosophila ATX2 in activation of PER translation and circadian behavior, Yong Zhang, Jinli Ling, Chunyan Yuan, Raphaelle Dubruille, and Patrick Emery

Publications from 2012

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Wld(S) Prevents Axon Degeneration through Increased Mitochondrial Flux and Enhanced Mitochondrial Ca(2+) Buffering., Michelle A. Avery, Timothy M. Rooney, Jignesh D. Pandya, Thomas M. Wishart, Thomas H. Gillingwater, James W. Geddes, Patrick G. Sullivan, and Marc R. Freeman

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The Secreted Immunoglobulin Domain Proteins ZIG-5 and ZIG-8 Cooperate with L1CAM/SAX-7 to Maintain Nervous System Integrity, Claire Y. Benard, Cassandra Blanchette, Janine Recio, and Oliver Hobert

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Layered reward signalling through octopamine and dopamine in Drosophila, Christopher J. Burke, Wolf Huetteroth, David Owald, Emmanuel Perisse, Michael J. Krashes, Gaurav Das, Daryl Gohl, Marion Silies, Sarah Certel, and Scott Waddell

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Maternal immune activation alters behavior in adult offspring, with subtle changes in the cortical transcriptome and epigenome, Caroline M. Connor, Aslihan Dincer, Juerg R. Straubhaar, Janina R. Galler, Isaac B. Houston, and Schahram Akbarian

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Type 1 ryanodine receptor knock-in mutation causing central core disease of skeletal muscle also displays a neuronal phenotype, Valerie De Crescenzo, Kevin E. Fogarty, Jason J. Lefkowitz, Karl D. Bellve, Elena Zvaritch, David H. MacLennan, and John V. Walsh Jr.

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The Acid-Sensitive, Anesthetic-Activated Potassium Leak Channel, KCNK3, Is Regulated By 14-3-3beta-Dependent, PKC-Mediated Endocytic Trafficking, Luke Gabriel, Anatoli Lvov, Demetra Orthodoxou, Ann R. Rittenhouse, William R. Kobertz, and Haley E. Melikian

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Inhibitory control of synaptic and behavioral plasticity by octopaminergic signaling, Alex C. Koon and Vivian Budnik

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Anticorrelated resting-state functional connectivity in awake rat brain, Zhifeng Liang, Jean A. King, and Nanyin Zhang

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Intrinsic organization of the anesthetized brain, Zhifeng Liang, Jean A. King, and Nanyin Zhang

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Negative regulation of glial engulfment activity by Draper terminates glial responses to axon injury, Mary A. Logan, Rachel Hackett, Johnna E. Doherty, Amy E. Sheehan, Sean D. Speese, and Marc R. Freeman

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Gender-Specific Reduction of Estrogen-Sensitive Small RNA, miR-30b, in Subjects With Schizophrenia, Nikolaos Mellios, Marzena Galdzicka, Edward Ginns, Stephen P. Baker, Evgeny I. Rogaev, Jun Xu, and Schahram Akbarian

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dSarm/Sarm1 is required for activation of an injury-induced axon death pathway, Jeannette M. Osterloh, Jing Yang, Timothy M. Rooney, A. Nicole Fox, Robert Adalbert, Eric H. Powell, Amy E. Sheehan, Michelle A. Avery, Rachel Hackett, Mary A. Logan, Jennifer M. MacDonald, Jennifer S. Ziegenfuss, Stefan Milde, Ying-Ju Hou, Carl Nathan, Aihao Ding, Robert H. Brown Jr., Laura Comforti, Michael Coleman, Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Stephan Zuchner, and Marc R. Freeman

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The neuroethology of C. elegans escape, Jennifer K. Pirri and Mark J. Alkema

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Disruption of gene expression rhythms in mice lacking secretory vesicle proteins IA-2 and IA-2β, Sohan Punia, Kyle K. Rumery, Elizabeth A. Yu, Christopher M. Lambert, Abner L. Notkins, and David R. Weaver

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Nuclear envelope budding enables large ribonucleoprotein particle export during synaptic Wnt signaling, Sean D. Speese, James A. Ashley, Vahbiz Jokhi, John J. Nunnari, Romina Barria, Yihang Li, Bulent Ataman, Alex C. Koon, Young-Tae Chang, Qian Li, Melissa J. Moore, and Vivian Budnik

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Long-term, efficient inhibition of microRNA function in mice using rAAV vectors, Jun Xie, Stefan L. Ameres, Randall H. Friedline, Jui-Hung Hung, Yu Zhang, Qing Xie, Li Zhong, Qin Su, Ran He, Mengxin Li, Huapeng Li, Xin Mu, Hongwei Zhang, Jennifer A. Broderick, Jason K. Kim, Zhiping Weng, Terence R. Flotte, Phillip D. Zamore, and Guangping Gao

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Distinct molecular pathways mediate glial activation and engulfment of axonal debris after axotomy, Jennifer S. Ziegenfuss, Johnna E. Doherty, and Marc R. Freeman

Publications from 2011

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Argonaute protein identity and pairing geometry determine cooperativity in mammalian RNA silencing, Jennifer A. Broderick, William E. Salomon, Sean P. Ryder, Neil Aronin, and Phillip D. Zamore

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MicroRNA therapeutics, Jennifer A. Broderick and Phillip D. Zamore

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Remembering nutrient quality of sugar in Drosophila, Christopher J. Burke and Scott Waddell

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White matter neuron alterations in schizophrenia and related disorders, Caroline M. Connor, Benjamin C. Crawford, and Schahram Akbarian

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Human cryptochrome exhibits light-dependent magnetosensitivity, Lauren E. Foley, Robert J. Gegear, and Steven M. Reppert

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Bioluminescence-based high-throughput screen identifies pharmacological agents that target neurotransmitter signaling in small cell lung carcinoma, Ma. Reina D. Improgo, Christopher W. Johnson, Andrew R. Tapper, and Paul D. Gardner

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Nicotinic acetylcholine receptor-mediated mechanisms in lung cancer, Ma. Reina D. Improgo, Andrew R. Tapper, and Paul D. Gardner

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Setdb1-mediated histone H3K9 hypermethylation in neurons worsens the neurological phenotype of Mecp2-deficient mice, Yan Jiang, Anouch Matevossian, Yin Guo, and Schahram Akbarian

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Autoregulatory and paracrine control of synaptic and behavioral plasticity by octopaminergic signaling, Alex C. Koon, James A. Ashley, Romina Barria, Shamik DasGupta, Ruth Brain, Scott Waddell, Mark J. Alkema, and Vivian Budnik

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Drosophila appetitive olfactory conditioning, Michael Jonathan Krashes and Scott Waddell

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Drosophila aversive olfactory conditioning, Michael Jonathan Krashes and Scott Waddell

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Uncovering intrinsic connectional architecture of functional networks in awake rat brain, Zhifeng Liang, Jean A. King, and Nanyin Zhang

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The C. elegans Touch Response Facilitates Escape From Predacious Fungi, Sean M. Maguire, Christopher M. Clark, Jennifer K. Pirri, John J. Nunnari, and Mark J. Alkema

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The Plasma Membrane-Associated GTPase Rin Interacts with the Dopamine Transporter and Is Required for Protein Kinase C-Regulated Dopamine Transporter Trafficking, Deanna M. Navaroli, Zachary H. Stevens, Zeljko Uzelac, Luke Gabriel, Michael J. King, Lawrence M. Lifshitz, Harald H. Sitte, and Haley E. Melikian

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A Pair of Inhibitory Neurons Are Required to Sustain Labile Memory in the Drosophila Mushroom Body, Jena L. Pitman, Wolf Huetteroth, Christopher J. Burke, Michael Jonathan Krashes, Sen-Lin Lai, Tzumin Lee, and Scott Waddell

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The relationship between duration of initial alcohol exposure and persistence of molecular tolerance is markedly nonlinear, Cristina M. Velazquez-Marrero, Patricia M. Wynne, Alexandra Bernardo, Stephanie Palacio, Gilles E. Martin, and Steven N. Treistman

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Disrupting the circadian clock: Gene-specific effects on aging, cancer, and other phenotypes, Elizabeth A. Yu and David R. Weaver

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Nicotine-mediated activation of dopaminergic neurons in distinct regions of the ventral tegmental area, Rubing Zhao-Shea, Liwang Liu, Lindsey G. Soll, Ma. Reina D. Improgo, Erin E. Meyers, J. Michael McIntosh, Sharon R. Grady, Michael J. Marks, Paul D. Gardner, and Andrew R. Tapper

Publications from 2010

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A dominant mutation in a neuronal acetylcholine receptor subunit leads to motor neuron degeneration in Caenorhabditis elegans, Belinda Barbagallo, Hilary A. Prescott, Patrick Boyle, Jason Climer, and Michael M. Francis

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Temporally- and spatially-regulated transcriptional activity of the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor beta4 subunit gene promoter., Lei Bruschweiler-Li, Yuly F. Fuentes Medel, Michael D. Scofield, Ellen B. T. Trang, Sarah A. Binke, and Paul D. Gardner

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Developmental regulation and individual differences of neuronal H3K4me3 epigenomes in the prefrontal cortex, Iris Cheung, Hennady P. Shulha, Yan Jiang, Anouch Matevossian, Jie Wang, Zhiping Weng, and Schahram Akbarian

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A simple method for improving the specificity of anti-methyl histone antibodies, Caroline M. Connor, Iris Cheung, Andrew Simon, Mira Jakovcevski, Zhiping Weng, and Schahram Akbarian

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Casein kinase 1 delta (CK1delta) regulates period length of the mouse suprachiasmatic circadian clock in vitro, Jean-Pierre Etchegaray, Elizabeth A. Yu, Premananda Indic, Robert Dallmann, and David R. Weaver

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Menage a Trio during BMP-Mediated Retrograde Signaling at the NMJ, Yuly F. Fuentes Medel and Vivian Budnik

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Activation of alpha4* nAChRs is necessary and sufficient for varenicline-induced reduction of alcohol consumption, Linzy M. Hendrickson, Rubing Zhao-Shea, Xueyan Pang, Paul D. Gardner, and Andrew R. Tapper

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RPP25 is developmentally regulated in prefrontal cortex and expressed at decreased levels in autism spectrum disorder, Hsien-Sung Huang, Iris Cheung, and Schahram Akbarian

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ASCL1 regulates the expression of the CHRNA5/A3/B4 lung cancer susceptibility locus, Ma Reina D. Improgo, Nicolette A. Schlichting, Roxana Y. Cortes, Rubing Zhao-Shea, Andrew R. Tapper, and Paul D. Gardner

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The nicotinic acetylcholine receptor CHRNA5/A3/B4 gene cluster: dual role in nicotine addiction and lung cancer, Ma Reina D. Improgo, Michael D. Scofield, Andrew R. Tapper, and Paul D. Gardner

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From smoking to lung cancer: the CHRNA5/A3/B4 connection, Ma. Reina D. Improgo, Michael D. Scofield, Andrew R. Tapper, and Paul D. Gardner

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Setdb1 histone methyltransferase regulates mood-related behaviors and expression of the NMDA receptor subunit NR2B, Yan Jiang, Mira Jakovcevski, Rahul Bharadwaj, Caroline M. Connor, Frederick Albert Schroeder, Cong L. Lin, Juerg R. Straubhaar, Gilles E. Martin, and Schahram Akbarian

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Lineage-specific effects of Notch/Numb signaling in post-embryonic development of the Drosophila brain, Suewei Lin, Sen-Lin Lai, Hung-Hsiang Yu, Takahiro Chihara, Liqun Luo, and Tzumin Lee

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Differential modulation of N-type calcium channels by micro-opioid receptors in oxytocinergic versus vasopressinergic neurohypophysial terminals, Sonia I. Ortiz-Miranda, Govindan Dayanithi, Cristina M. Velazquez-Marrero, Edward E. Custer Jr., Steven N. Treistman, and Jose R. Lemos

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Chromatin protein L3MBTL1 is dispensable for development and tumor suppression in mice, Jinzhong Qin, Denille Van Buren, Hsien-Sung Huang, Lei Zhong, Raul Mostoslavsky, Schahram Akbarian, and Hanno Hock

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Activity paradigm to induce Drosophila larval neuromuscular junction growth, Preethi Ramachandran and Vivian Budnik

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Electron microscopy of Drosophila larval neuromuscular junctions, Preethi Ramachandran and Vivian Budnik

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Fm1-43 labeling of Drosophila larval neuromuscular junctions, Preethi Ramachandran and Vivian Budnik

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Internalization and trafficking assay for Drosophila larvae, Preethi Ramachandran and Vivian Budnik

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Preparation of early Drosophila embryonic fillets (before cuticle deposition), Preethi Ramachandran and Vivian Budnik

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Preparation of late Drosophila embryonic fillets, Preethi Ramachandran and Vivian Budnik

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Voltage-dependent kappa-opioid modulation of action potential waveform-elicited calcium currents in neurohypophysial terminals, Cristina M. Velazquez-Marrero, Hector G. Marrero, and Jose R. Lemos

Publications from 2009

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Epigenetic regulation in human brain-focus on histone lysine methylation, Schahram Akbarian and Hsien-Sung Huang

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Wld S requires Nmnat1 enzymatic activity and N16-VCP interactions to suppress Wallerian degeneration, Michelle A. Avery, Amy E. Sheehan, Kimberly S. Kerr, Jing Wang, and Marc R. Freeman

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Cingulate white matter neurons in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Caroline M. Connor, Yin Guo, and Schahram Akbarian

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Ensheathing glia function as phagocytes in the adult Drosophila brain, Johnna E. Doherty, Mary A. Logan, Ozge E. Tasdemir, and Marc R. Freeman

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A constant light-genetic screen identifies KISMET as a regulator of circadian photoresponses, Raphaëlle Dubruille, Alejandro D. Murad, Michael Rosbash, and Patrick Emery

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Casein kinase 1 delta regulates the pace of the mammalian circadian clock, Jean-Pierre Etchegaray, Kazuhiko K. Machida, Elizabeth Noton, Cara M. Constance, Robert Dallmann, Marianne N. Di Napoli, Jason P. DeBruyne, Christopher M. Lambert, Elizabeth A. Yu, Steven M. Reppert, and David R. Weaver

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Cocaine-induced metabolic activation in cortico-limbic circuitry is increased after exposure to the histone deacetylase inhibitor, sodium butyrate, Marcelo Febo, Schahram Akbarian, Frederick Albert Schroeder, and Craig F. Ferris

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Glia and muscle sculpt neuromuscular arbors by engulfing destabilized synaptic boutons and shed presynaptic debris, Yuly F. Fuentes Medel, Mary A. Logan, James A. Ashley, Bulent Ataman, Vivian Budnik, and Marc R. Freeman

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Orientation of palmitoylated CaVbeta2a relative to CaV2.2 is critical for slow pathway modulation of N-type Ca2+ current by tachykinin receptor activation, Tora Mitra Ganguli, Iuliia Vitko, Edward Perez-Reyes, and Ann R. Rittenhouse

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Modulation of ethanol drinking-in-the-dark by mecamylamine and nicotinic acetylcholine receptor agonists in C57BL/6J mice, Linzy M. Hendrickson, Rubing Zhao-Shea, and Andrew R. Tapper

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The Ca2+ channel beta subunit determines whether stimulation of Gq-coupled receptors enhances or inhibits N current, John F. Heneghan, Tora Mitra Ganguli, Lee F. Stanish, Liwang Liu, Rubing Zhao, and Ann R. Rittenhouse

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Trans-synaptic transmission of vesicular Wnt signals through Evi/Wntless, Ceren Korkut, Bulent Ataman, Preethi Ramachandran, James A. Ashley, Romina Barria, Norberto G. Gherbesi, and Vivian Budnik

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WNTs tune up the neuromuscular junction, Ceren Korkut and Vivian Budnik

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A neural circuit mechanism integrating motivational state with memory expression in Drosophila, Michael Jonathan Krashes, Shamik DasGupta, Andrew Vreede, Benjamin White, J. Douglas Armstrong, and Scott Waddell

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Suppression of Ca2+ syntillas increases spontaneous exocytosis in mouse adrenal chromaffin cells, Jason J. Lefkowitz, Kevin E. Fogarty, Lawrence M. Lifshitz, Karl D. Bellve, Richard A. Tuft, Ronghua ZhuGe, John V. Walsh Jr., and Valerie De Crescenzo

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Nuclear receptor unfulfilled regulates axonal guidance and cell identity of Drosophila mushroom body neurons, Suewei Lin, Yaling Huang, and Tzumin Lee

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Individual calcium syntillas do not trigger spontaneous exocytosis from nerve terminals of the neurohypophysis, James M. McNally, Valerie De Crescenzo, Kevin E. Fogarty, John V. Walsh Jr., and Jose R. Lemos

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Molecular determinants of dysregulated GABAergic gene expression in the prefrontal cortex of subjects with schizophrenia, Nikolaos Mellios, Hsien-Sung Huang, Stephen P. Baker, Marzena Galdzicka, Edward Ginns, and Schahram Akbarian

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Neuronal death or dismemberment mediated by Sox14, Jeannette M. Osterloh and Marc R. Freeman

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Five siRNAs targeting three SNPs may provide therapy for three-quarters of Huntington's disease patients, Edith L. Pfister, Lori A. Kennington, Juerg R. Straubhaar, Sujata Wagh, Wanzhou Liu, Marian DiFiglia, Bernhard Landwehrmeyer, Jean-Paul Vonsattel, Phillip D. Zamore, and Neil Aronin

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Huntington's disease: silencing a brutal killer, Edith L. Pfister and Phillip D. Zamore

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A Tyramine-Gated Chloride Channel Coordinates Distinct Motor Programs of a Caenorhabditis elegans Escape Response, Jennifer K. Pirri, Adam D. McPherson, Jamie L. Donnelly, Michael M. Francis, and Mark J. Alkema

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There are many ways to train a fly, Jena L. Pitman, Shamik DasGupta, Michael J. Krashes, Benjamin Leung, Paola N. Perrat, and Scott Waddell

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A critical step for postsynaptic F-actin organization: regulation of Baz/Par-3 localization by aPKC and PTEN, Preethi Ramachandran, Romina Barria, James A. Ashley, and Vivian Budnik

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Regulation of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels by lipids, Mandy L. Roberts-Crowley, Tora Mitra Ganguli, Liwang Liu, and Ann R. Rittenhouse

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Arachidonic acid inhibition of L-type calcium (CaV1.3b) channels varies with accessory CaVbeta subunits, Mandy L. Roberts-Crowley and Ann R. Rittenhouse

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Compartmentalized beta subunit distribution determines characteristics and ethanol sensitivity of somatic, dendritic, and terminal large-conductance calcium-activated potassium channels in the rat central nervous system, Patricia M. Wynne, Sylvie I. Puig, Gilles E. Martin, and Steven N. Treistman

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Twin-spot MARCM to reveal the developmental origin and identity of neurons, Hung-Hsiang Yu, Chun-Hong Chen, Lei Shi, Yaling Huang, and Tzumin Lee

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Endodomain diversity in the Drosophila Dscam and its roles in neuronal morphogenesis, Hung-Hsiang Yu, Jacob S. Yang, Jian Wang, Yaling Huang, and Tzumin Lee

Publications from 2008

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Rapid activity-dependent modifications in synaptic structure and function require bidirectional Wnt signaling, Bulent Ataman, James A. Ashley, Michael Gorczyca, Preethi Ramachandran, Wernher Fouquet, Stephan J. Sigrist, and Vivian Budnik

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Organization and postembryonic development of glial cells in the adult central brain of Drosophila, Takeshi Awasaki, Sen-Lin Lai, Kei Ito, and Tzumin Lee

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DNA methylation changes in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, Caroline M. Connor and Schahram Akbarian

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Learned odor discrimination in Drosophila without combinatorial odor maps in the antennal lobe, Shamik DasGupta and Scott Waddell

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BK channel subunit composition modulates molecular tolerance to ethanol, Paula Leslie Feinberg-Zadek, Gilles E. Martin, and Steven N. Treistman