Kira Poskanzer, PhD

Assistant Professor
Biochemistry and Biophysics
415-921-9229

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
trisha.vaidyanathan@ucsf.edu

Michael Reitman
Neuroscience Graduate Student
michael.reitman@ucsf.edu

Michelle Cahill
Neuroscience Graduate Student
michelle.cahill@ucsf.edu

Alba Peinado
Postdoctoral Scientist
alba.peinadocapdevila@ucsf.edu

Gregory Chin
Research Technician
gregory.chin2@ucsf.edu

Nicole DelRosso
Research Technician
nicole.delrosso@ucsf.edu

Cameron Holman
Research Technician
cameron.holman@ucsf.edu

 

Lab Website