The goal of research in this laboratory is to understand the biochemical and molecular neurobiology of sensory transduction in the developing and adult auditory system. Specifically, research in the Neurochemistry Laboratory, under the direction of Dr. Barbara J. Morley, is concerned with the role of neurotransmitters and receptors in the establishment of neural pathways and the formation of maintenance of synaptic connections. Experiments currently in progress include the pharmacological and immunocytochemical characterization of neurotransmitter receptor subunits and assembled receptors, and the expression of subunits of the receptors using in situ hybridization and real time RT-PCR. In addition, mice with gene deletions are used as tool for understanding the function of certain receptor subunits and compensation for gene loss by the up-regulation of other genes and proteins.
The laboratory has about 1,100 sq. feet of space; divided into a main laboratory room, cell culture facility, and an imaging facility. The laboratory is equipped for biochemical and molecular biology application with facilities for real-time RT-PCR, PCR for genotyping, in situ hybridization, radioligand autoradiography, image analysis, cell culture, and radioimmunoassays.
The major equipment includes, GeneQuant II, Applied Biosystems ABI 7000 sequence detection system, Perkin Elmer PCR, Reichert 2800E cryostat, MCID Image Analysis System (Imaging Research, Inc.); Packard phosphoimager; Sensicam and Optronics DEI-75 video cameras, Leica DMLB fluorescence microscope interfaced with and controlled by a PC with ImagePro and Vaytek digital confocal software, Leitz inverted fluorescence microscope, a Zeiss stereomicroscope, and high-speed centrifuges.