Research

The Microscopy Facility supports the research of the following research programs.

Cave Lab

PI: Clinton Cave – Neuroscience
Research in the Cave lab focuses on defining the molecular mechanisms regulating progenitor patterning, neurogenesis, gliogenesis, and cell fate decisions. Experimentally, we investigate these processes with a combination of genetic, biochemical, and histological approaches using in-vivo and in-vitro models of neurodevelopment.

Combelles Lab

PI: Catherine Combelles – Biology
The health of adults, neonates, and fetuses all depend upon normal development of the embryos and oocytes from which they arise. My laboratory is interested in (1) understanding what makes up a good quality oocyte as well as (2) identifying determinants of oocyte quality.

Environmental Chemistry Lab

PI: Molly Costanza-Robinson – Chemistry and Environmental Studies
The Environmental Chemistry Lab at Middlebury College conducts interdisciplinary collaborative research related to organic contaminants in the environment, including the fate, transport, remediation, and biological impacts of chemical contamination.

Systems Neuroscience Lab

PI: Amanda Crocker – Neuroscience
Our lab uses the genetically tractable model organism Drosophila melanogaster (Fruit fly) to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying behavior. By using a relatively less complex model nervous system we can map defined circuits, often involving just a few neurons. Our hope is that by studying these defined small circuits and basic behaviors such as learning, feeding, and sleep we can identify novel genes and gene pathways important for cell definition and circuit function.

Biomedical Optics Lab

PI: Michael Durst – Physics
Prof. Durst uses nonlinear optics and biomedical imaging to look deep through biological tissue without making an incision. Ultrafast pulsed lasers penetrate scattering samples and create high resolution three-dimensional images through multiphoton microscopy, temporal focusing, and photothermal imaging.

Molecular Neurobiology Lab

PI: Glen Ernstrom – Biology and Neuroscience
Our lab studies the molecular neurobiology of neurotransmission. Using the genetically tractable model organism the round worm Caenorhabditis elegans we investigate how neurotransmitters are loaded into synaptic vesicles and how synaptic vesicles release neurotransmitters from neurons. Our ultimate goal is to define common mechanisms of neurotransmitter loading and release that can facilitate the design of therapies for human neural disorders.

Spatafora Lab

PI: Grace Spatafora – Biology
Streptococcus mutans is the principal causative agent of dental caries in humans. A major research objective in the Spatafora laboratory centers on identifying genes belonging to the S. mutans SloR metalloregulome and defining their potential involvement in the caries-forming process.

Behavioral Neuroendocrinology Lab

PI: Mark Spritzer – Biology
Our lab focuses on the effects of hormones on spatial memory and underlying neural plasticity. We are particularly interested in the role that adult neurogenesis in the formation of new memories. We are also examining how sexual interactions and social isolation influence adult neurogenesis and associated cognitive abilities

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