Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Mark Bevan Lab

Lab Members

Meet the Lab team members. We welcome requests for information about our work and collaboration opportunities. You can also learn more about who our lab is currently working with via the Collaborators page.

Principal Investigator

 
Mark Bevan

Mark Bevan, PhD
m-bevan( at )northwestern.edu
Professor in Physiology
Phd, University of Manchester, England
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile

Biosketch

Research Assistant Professor

 
JeremyAtherton

Jeremy Atherton, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
PhD, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
View Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine faculty profile

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My research to date has primarily focused on the cellular neurophysiology basal ganglia neurons, in particular the intrinsic and synaptic properties of neurons in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and substantia nigra pars reticulata. My current projects aim to elucidate how the intrinsic and synaptic properties of STN neurons are altered in Parkinson's and Huntington's disease models. To do this I am utilizing classical electrophysiological techniques combined with 2-photon imaging, and optogenetic approaches.

Postdoctoral Fellows

 
JoshuaCallahan

Joshua Callahan, PhD
PhD, Rutgers University

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Excessive synchronization of neuronal activity in the cortico-basal ganglia thalamocortical network is believed to underlie motor symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD). Maladaptive alterations in the synaptic and intrinsic properties of neurons in the STN and reciprocally connected external globus pallidus (GPe) are fundamental to the emergence and promotion of synchronous firing in PD. Using an in vivo approach, the goal of my research is to apply optogenetic, pharmacogenetic and genetic tools in the unilateral 6-OHDA lesion mouse model to manipulate activity and restore neuronal firing patterns in order to ameliorate the motor dysfunction associated with PD.

Hong-Yuan Chu

Hong-Yuan Chu, PhD
PhD, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, China

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My project focuses on synaptic plasticity at the inhibitory GABAergic synapse from the external globus pallidus (GPe) to the subthalamic nucleus (STN). Proliferation of GPe-STN synapses after chronic dopamine depletion and the hypersynchronous activity of motor cortex in idiopathic and experimental Parkinson’s disease (PD) raise the possibility that GPe-STN connections are regulated by glutamatergic inputs from the motor cortex. Therefore, my on-going research is combining electrophysiology and optogenetics to study how cortical glutamatergic inputs modulate the strength of GPe-STN synapses, as well as the role of this heterosynaptic plasticity in PD. Ultimately, we hope to improve parkinsonian motor symptoms by preventing or reversing synaptic alterations at GPe-STN connections.

Graduate Students

 
Ryan Kovaleski

Ryan Kovaleski

Resumé

Motor dysfunction in Parkinson's disease is associated with an abnormal frequency and pattern of neuronal activity in the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop. My project is to determine the origins of this activity pattern in vivo in animals models of Parkinson's disease using simultaneous electrophysiological recording of neuronal activity throughout the cortico-basal ganglia-thalamocortical loop in conjunction with pharmacogenetic and optogenetic approaches.

AshaLahiri

Asha Lahiri

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My research project focuses on the direct modulation of subthalamic nucleus (STN) activity by substantia nigra dopamine neurons. I will determine whether 1) dopaminergic neuromodulation regulates both autonomous activity and synaptic integration in the STN 2) dopaminergic neuromodulation regulates synaptic plasticity in the STN 3) dopamine neurons co-transmit glutamate and/or GABA. This information will help to determine if nigro-subthalamic inputs promote normal activity in the STN and whether loss of nigro-subthalamic neurons in Parkinson’s disease promotes pathological STN activity.

 
EileenMcIver

Eileen McIver

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I joined the Bevan lab as a graduate student in 2012. I am using Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) to investigate autonomous activity and cortical synaptic patterning of the subthalamic nucleus in Parkinson's Disease.