The Hemmings and Platholi Labs seek to understand the mechanisms of general anesthetic actions on synaptic transmission. We study these effects at the molecular, cellular, functional, and behavioral levels in isolated nerve terminals, brain slices, cultured cells and neurons, and animal models using molecular probes and optogenetic biosensors. Techniques include fluorescence imaging of exocytosis and Ca²⁺ dynamics, time-lapse imaging of dendritic spines, in vivo neural ensemble activity using fiber photometry, and electrophysiological approaches.
Dr. Hemmings' Research Projects
We aim to identify critical cellular and molecular mechanisms that contribute to the effects of volatile anesthetics at the synapse, their principal site of action in the nervous system.
Dr. Platholi's Research Projects
We aim to understand how fundamental anesthetic mechanisms overlap with age, disease, or genetic variation to influence synaptic plasticity.