Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology

Welcome to the Laboratory of Molecular Neurobiology at the Boston University School of Medicine. Under the direction of David H. Farb, PhD, the lab is involved in basic research on receptor pharmacology and the mechanisms by which receptors are regulated. Lab activities can broadly be divided into the following areas:

Electrophysiology

Electrophysiological research in the laboratory is currently carried out in three dedicated workrooms. Whole-cell patch clamp and two-electrode voltage clamp techniques are presently being used to study the modulation of GABA and glutamate receptors in both cultured neurons and in Xenopus oocytes that have been injected with mRNA coding for neurotransmitter receptors.

Molecular Biology

One approach taken towards the study of neurotransmitter receptors in this lab is through the use of molecular biological techniques. Regulation of the subunit composition, and hence pharmacological specificity, of the receptors under study can take place at the genomic level. Examination of the promoter and coding sequences yields valuable information that complements the other approaches used in this laboratory.

Nanotechnology

Drug delivery via nanoparticles encapsulating hydrophilic or hydrophobic molecules are being engineered for delivery across the blood brain barrier. Nanoparticle composition is being tailored to better deliver drug to specific target sites. Neuroactive drugs and proteins, biomarkers for novel diagnostics, sensitive dyes for neural mapping, and many other applications are envisioned. The major advantage of this technique is the noninvasive delivery of molecules to the CNS via a peripheral injection.

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