Synaptic Metal ion Dynamics
Transition metal ions, such as zinc and copper, regulate many fundamental biological processes by acting as ligands to numerous proteins. Spatial dynamics of such metal ions and the proteins determine initiation of cellular signalling. While the role of metal ions as a structural component of proteins is well studied, the function of labile ions as a signalling entity is largely unexplored due to technological limitations to detect them. Latest technological advances in sensing metal ions, such as fluorescent probes or magnetic sensing, allow monitoring of metal ion dynamics at high resolution. I employ these technologies to study cellular signalling mediated by metal ions in the brain. I investigate neuronal metal dynamics, its impact on local cell biology, and in synaptic plasticity. To address various experimental questions, I use the tools of advanced imaging, electrophysiology and molecular biology.