|Department of Physiology
3649 Sir William Osler
Laboratory web site:
Research Area: Neurophysiology
We are interested in understanding the basic molecular mechanisms that regulate synaptic growth, function and plasticity, and how these mechanisms are affected in disease states. For this, we combine genetic and molecular tools with imaging and electrophysiological techniques at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. The projects in the lab focus on three areas of research:
1) Signal transduction cascades that control synaptic growth and function via orthograde and retrograde mechanisms.
2) The role of Rho family of GTPases in the regulation of synaptic structure and function.
3) How pre- and post-synaptic regulation of protein translation coordinates synaptic growth and influences neurotransmitter release.
Education: B.Sc., University of British Columbia; Ph.D., McGill University
Tsurudome K., Tsang K., Liao E. H., Yang J-S., Elazzouzi F., He T., Chishti A., Lnenicka G., Lai E. C. and Haghighi A. P. The Drosophila miR-310 cluster negatively regulates synaptic strength at the neuromuscular junction. (2010) Neuron, 68: 879-893.
Ball R. W., Warren-Paquin M., Tsurudome K., Liao E., Elazzouzi F., Cavanagh C., An B-S., Wang T-T., White J. H., and Haghighi A. P.. (2010) Retrograde BMP signaling controls synaptic growth at the NMJ by regulating Trio expression in motor neurons. Neuron, 66:536-49.
Merino-Hernandez C., Penney J., Aguire-Gonzalez M., Mujahedine M., Verheyen E., O’Connor M. and Haghighi A. P. (2009) Nemo kinase interacts with Mad to coordinate synaptic growth at the Drosophila NMJ. J Cell Biology, 185:713-725.
McCabe B. D., Hom S., Aberle H., Fetter R. D., Marques G., Haerry T. E., Wan H., O’Connor M. B., Goodman C. S. and Haghighi A. P. (2004). Highwire regulates presynaptic BMP signaling essential for synaptic growth. Neuron, 41:891-905.
Haghighi A. P., McCabe B. D., Fetter R. D., Palmer E.J., Hom S. and Goodman C. S. (2003). Retrograde control of synaptic transmission by postsynaptic CaMKII at the Drosophila neuromuscular junction. Neuron, 39:255-267.