Yao Chen, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Uncovering the spatial location and temporal dynamics of intracellular signals Read More

Email: yaochen@wustl.edu
Lab Phone: (314) 273-7739
Website: Chen Lab
Lab Location: McDonnell Sciences 962/977
Keywords: neuromodulator, sleep, dynamics, sensors, signaling, G protein coupled receptors, imaging, microscopy, learning, plasticity

Uncovering the spatial location and temporal dynamics of intracellular signals

My lab’s research attempts to fill the gap between molecular neuroscience and animal behavior by uncovering the spatial location and temporal dynamics of intracellular signals, because their dynamics carry critical information that explains subsequent modifications of cells, circuits, and behavior. Specifically, I want to understand how these features of molecular signals contribute to learning, sleep, and functions of neuromodulators. I plan to achieve my research objectives by imaging and manipulating, in live brain slices and freely moving mice, intracellular signals with high spatial resolution and temporal precision. I am applying to the Hope Center because 1) mis-regulation of many of these intracellular signals is involved in neurodegeneration, dementia, and psychiatric disorders; 2) bridging the gap between molecular and systems neuroscience requires collaborative research; 3) understanding the spatiotemporal dynamics of intracellular signals in response to e.g. neuromodulators will help us design better therapies, since different pharmaceuticals and other treatments are likely to induce signals with different spatiotemporal dynamics, thereby affecting their efficacies.