Headshot of Darrin Brager

Darrin Brager, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Life Sciences
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Whole-cell somatic and dendritic recording, cell-attached and outside-out patch clamp recording, synaptic physiology and plasticity, voltage-gated ion channels.


Our lab is interested in the cellular and molecular underpinnings of brain function in neurological disease and disorders. Regardless of whether there are deficits in neurotransmitter release, ligand-gated channels, or voltage-gated channels, many brain pathologies can be considered dendritic disorders. Direct investigation of the dendrites, using electrophysiological recording, calcium imaging, two-photon photolysis of caged glutamate, and/or optogenetic stimulation, is necessary to properly understand the cellular physiology of these conditions.
A theme of our research is to establish a mechanistic link between pathological changes in synaptic and dendritic function, with an emphasis on voltage-gated ion channels, and behavioral phenotypes in neurological diseases and disorders. We employ a broad array of techniques including the preparation of acute brain slices, electrophysiological recording including direct dendritic recording, patch clamp recording, electrical and optogenetic synaptic stimulation and two-photon calcium imaging. We supplement these approaches with immunohistochemistry, western blotting, and neuronal reconstruction. Our research includes the pathophysiology of cortical neurons in rodent models of neurological disease – including Fragile X syndrome, temporal lobe epilepsy, depression, and tuberosclerosis.

Additional Information

Interest Group: Cell & Molecular Neuroscience
WHI Lab Location: 106

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Selected Publications