Dr. Christian Lüscher
|MD||University of Berne||Hans Lüscher||Effects of axon morphology on action pitential propagation|
|1996-99||UCSF||Roger Nicoll||AMPA receptor mobility in LTP and LTD|
The research in my lab is aimed at elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanism of reward-driven learning. Our principal interest is on drug reward and how exposure to addictive substances can change behavior in rodent models of addiction. “Drug-evoked synaptic plasticity” has emerged as a mechanism underlying drug-adaptive behavior. Synapses throughout the mesolimbic system are affected, causing a remodeling of the mesocorticolimbic circuits and eventually change behavior. Our focus is on the ventral tegmental area (VTA) and the nucleus accumbens (NAc) where we study synaptic plasticity ex vivo after drug exposure and preparation of acute midbrain slices with whole cell patch clamp electrophysiology. In a recent proof of principle study, we were able to optogenetically reverse drug-evoked synaptic plasticity to erase drug-adaptive behavior.