Terry Snutch

Full Professor
  • Office phone
  • Research area
    Cell and Developmental Biology
  • History

    B.Sc.; Ph.D., Simon Fraser Research Fellow (Chemistry), Calif. Inst. of Tech. (1984-87)

Molecular biology of the nervous system: structure and function of neurotransmitter receptors and ion channels: signal transduction in the hippocampus.
We are interested in studying the molecular mechanisms by which neurons transmit, receive and store information in the mammalian central nervous system. Neurons communicate with each other using a combination of electrical and chemical signalling. The molecules which mediate this signalling are voltage-gated ion channels and neurotransmitter receptors. In one of our projects we have isolated a number of rat brain cDNAs that encode voltage-gated calcium channels. Current work includes the characterization of the molecular and subcellular localization of calcium channel subtypes in the nervous system, and the analysis of the functional properties of calcium channel subtypes in a number of exogenous expression systems. In another project we are attempting to isolate and characterize promoter regions sufficient to direct expression of genes to one specific region of the brain, the hippocampus. The hippocampus is thought to be involved in learning and memory processes and our goal is to induce selective mutations in the hippocampus of transgenic animals. Other projects include the study of G-proteins involved in neuronal signal transduction, and also the knock-out of ion channel and receptor gene expression using antisense RNA and DNA techniques in cultured cells.