Dr. Roger Janz
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
McGovern Medical School
Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
My lab studies the involvement of synaptic proteins in neuronal function with different methods. In previous studies we generated mutant mice using gene targeting by homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells. The effect of the inactivation of genes coding for different synaptic vesicle proteins was studied. We could show that some synaptic vesicle proteins are essential for certain forms of synaptic plasticity. This demonstrates that these proteins are involved in the regulation of the efficiency of synaptic connections. We will use biochemical and genetic methods to study the molecular mechanism of this process. Furthermore we intend to generate new mutated mice lines that are deficient in other proteins, to analyze their biological function. The analysis of these mice with different methods should help to clarify the role of the mutated proteins in synaptic transmission.
A tutorial in my lab would provide experience with basic molecular biology, protein biochemistry, mouse genetics and different areas of neurobiology.