About Our Lab
We study the physiological processes regulated by native nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), a large family of ligand gated ion channel proteins. These receptors mediate key aspects of cholinergic signaling in the brain, and are involved in several important cognitive processes, including motivated behavior, affective behavior, attention, and learning/memory. Aberrant nAChR activity is linked to several neurological diseases/disorders, such as nicotine addiction, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease. We utilize a broad range of techniques, including patch clamp electrophysiology, confocal and two-photon imaging, immunohistochemistry, and behavioral approaches.
- Lee HJ, Zhang D, Jiang Y, Wu X, Shih PY, Liao CS, Bungart B, Xu XM, Drenan R, Bartlett E, Cheng JX Label-Free Vibrational Spectroscopic Imaging of Neuronal Membrane Potential. J Phys Chem Lett 2017 May 4;8(9):1932-1936 PMID: 28407470
- Shih PY, McIntosh JM, Drenan RM Nicotine Dependence Reveals Distinct Responses from Neurons and Their Resident Nicotinic Receptors in Medial Habenula. Mol Pharmacol 2015 Dec;88(6):1035-44 PMID: 26429939, PMCID: PMC4658593
Ryan Drenan, PhD
Associate Professor in Pharmacology