Stuart Mangel

Mentor Faculty
Department of Neuroscience


Research Description:

My research interests in neuroscience focus on synaptic transmission and plasticity, neural integration and information processing, channel biology, calcium regulation, bioenergetics and mitochondrial function, and circadian rhythmicity. We use the vertebrate retina, which is part of the brain, as a model system for understanding brain function due to its easy accessibility and well-characterized inputs. My laboratory is currently pursuing two research objectives using a variety of techniques, including patch-clamp microelectrode recording, high performance liquid chromatography, computational and computer modeling, confocal imaging, and immunohistochemistry. First, we are studying how a circadian (24-hour) clock, a type of biological oscillator, in the retina modulates cellular processes and chemical and electrical synaptic transmission to control adaptive state so that the retina can respond to visual images in both the day and night during which the ambient or background illumination changes by approximately 8 orders of magnitude. Second, we are studying the cellular, subcellular, and neural network mechanisms that underlie the computation of the direction of image motion in the retina. The neural coding of the direction of stimulus motion, which is a classic example of local neural computation, is a common feature of the nervous system.

  • Ph.D., Physiology, University of Virginia, 1981

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