Charles Zucker

zuckerResearch Associate Professor

Fax: 617-638-4216
Location: R – 1008B, BUSM

Dr. Zucker received his doctorate in Neuroscience from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He completed postdoctoral training at Harvard University and joined the Neuroscience Unit at the Schepens Eye Research Institute where he was an Associate Scientist and an Instructor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. He joined the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at the Boston University Medical School in 1999 where is now Associate Professor. Dr. Zucker’s long-term interest is the functional microcircuitry of the vertebrate retina. In particular, his lab is exploring the properties that underlie the ability of certain retinal neurons to encode directional and motion information. Recent studies now suggest that asymmetries necessary to encode “preferred” and “null” directions may reside in individual limbs of starburst amacrine cell dendrites that provide synaptic input to the directionally selective ganglion cells. By identifying the precise dendritic locations of specific ion cotransporters, the choline uptake transporter, markers for bipolar cell synapses and several classes of neurotransmitter receptors, the anatomical and biophysical circuitry and mechanisms that allow for the computation of directional information by the visual system can be deciphered. Toward this end, a variety of intracellular filling, immunocytochemical, confocal and electron microscopy techniques are being used. The National Eye Institute of the NIH funds his research.

Dr. Zucker teaches in several graduate courses on the fundamental basis of nervous system function and in methods in neuroscience. He also teaches a laboratory section in the Medical Neuroscience course offered in the Medical School. Dr. Zucker serves on the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology Graduate Admissions Committee and serves as a member of the Full Circle Mentoring Group for the Carnegie Initiative for the Doctorate.

Recent Publications

Zucker, C. L. Localization of gephyrin and glycine receptor subunit immunoreactivity in the rabbit retina. 1998; Visual Neurosci, 15(2):389-395.

Zucker, C. L., Ehinger, B. Distribution of GABAA receptors on a bistratified amacrine cell type in the rabbit retina. 1998; J Comp Neurol 393(3):309-319.

Wasselius, J., Johansson, K., Bruun, A., Zucker, C. L. and Ehinger, B. Correlations between cholinergic neurons and muscarinic m2 receptors in the rat retina. 1998, NeuroReport, 9:1799-1802.

Zucker CL, Ehinger B. Complexities of retinal circuitry revealed by neurotransmitter receptor localization. In: Concepts and Challenges in Retinal Biology; A Tribute to John E. Dowling. Elsevier Press, 2001:Chapter 4.