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Research

The long term goal of our lab is to help understand the function of the hippocampal circuit, a brain area that is essential for encoding, storage and retrieval of memory and is strongly linked to many neuropsychiatric disorders, such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), schizophrenia, epilepsy, and Alzheimer's disease.

Current research of our lab is focused on area CA3 in the hippocampus. CA3 is a major component that constitutes the classic trisynaptic circuit in the hippocampus (entorhinal cortex → dentate gyrus → CA3 → CA1), and is crucial for memory storage and pattern completion (a process by which an entire memory is retrieved from degraded or partial cues). Compared to the neighboring CA1 and dentate gyrus, CA3 remains relatively understudied. Our current research aims to address the cellular and circuit mechanisms underlying hippocampal information processing through CA3 circuit. We are also interested in understanding the role of CA3 impairments in neuropsychiatric disorders. Our research contributes to a better understanding of hippocampal circuit function and helps identify novel strategy to relieve or repair behavioral deficits in neuropsychiatric disorders that involve the hippocampus.

Techniques

We use a variety of in vitro and in vivo techniques ─ including electrophysiology, neuronal tracing, optogenetics and chemogenetics, immunohistochemistry, in vivo imaging, mouse behavior, and whatever means necessary ─ to address scientific questions.