Kira Poskanzer, PhD

Assistant Professor
Biochemistry and Biophysics

Astrocytic and neuronal function in the cortical microcircuit

Astrocytes are numerous throughout the central nervous system and are intimately intercalated with neuronal synapses through their fine branches, yet the function of this glial cell remains undefined, particularly at the circuit level. In my lab, we use optical and electrophysiological techniques to capture population-wide activity with single-cell and subcellular resolution in the mouse cortical circuit. We are investigating the mechanisms by which astrocytes are activated using multiphoton optochemical techniques and are developing novel optical tools that allow us to image and manipulate astrocytic activity in three dimensions in the microcircuit, addressing fundamental questions about how non-neuronal circuit elements shape neural processing. 

Current Projects

  • Cellular mechanisms of astrocyte activation with optochemical activation and multiphoton imaging
  • Simultaneous population imaging of cortical neurons and astrocytes in vivo
  • Astrocytic control of cortical oscillations using optogenetics and electrophysiology

Lab Members

Trisha Vaidyanathan
Neuroscience Graduate Student

Michael Reitman
Neuroscience Graduate Student

Michelle Cahill
Neuroscience Graduate Student

Alba Peinado
Postdoctoral Scientist

Gregory Chin
Research Technician

Nicole DelRosso
Research Technician

Cameron Holman
Research Technician


Lab Website