Galán Lab

Principal Investigator
Roberto Fernández Galán, PhD
Assistant Professor of Neurosciences
Mount Sinai Research Scholar
Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow

Contact Information
Case Western Reserve University, School of Medicine
Department of Neurosciences, Room E-725
10900 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44106-4975, USA

Phone: (001) 216 368 0811 (Office), (001) 216 368 0546 (Lab)
Email: rfgalan at case dot edu

Research ----- Publications ----- Teaching ----- People ----- Software


Pavel Puzerey, Graduate Student. Spontaneous neurotransmitter release in the absence of presynaptic action potential (AP) firing is an intrinsic property of the neocortex. In the last two decades, experimental findings have shown that this form of release may play a critical role in the maintenance of the developing synaptic networks, regulation of dendritic protein synthesis, regulation of inhibitory tone in postsynaptic neurons, and generation of APs in cells with high input resistance. In addition, other lines of evidence have suggested that spontaneous neurotransmitter release is mediated by an independent pool of vesicles with distinct kinetic properties, calcium and temperature dependence of release, postsynaptic site of action, and molecular machinery than those belonging to the readily releasable pool of vesicles mediating evoked fusion. Pavel's work focuses on elucidating the role of various neurotransmitter systems mediating spontaneous excitatory postsynaptic currents (sEPSCs) within the mouse somatosensory cortex. To this end, he uses patch-clamp electrophysiological methods, pharmacological manipulation, and imaging with Ca2+-sensitive dyes in brain slices from wild-type and transgenic mice.

Yenan Zhu, Senior Undergraduate Student. Yenan investigates cardio-respiratory coupling from a theoretical and computational perspective. In previous years, he has also done experimental work in the lab (patch-clamp electrophysiology). His other main interests are: synchronization and entrainment of biological oscillators, synchronization in neural networks, epidemiology, theoretical ecology, and time series analysis. Yenan has been awarded a SOURCE grant in February 2011. He has also received a Michelson-Morley award for undergraduate research in April 2011, and an award sponsored by the Pharmacology Department in November 2011, also for undergraduate research.

Roberto Fernández Galán, Principal Investigator. He is a graduate physicist with a PhD in computational neuroscience. He also completed several years of postdoctoral work combining electrophysiology and modeling.

Previous members

Nicolaus Schmandt, Graduate Student. Nick was a PhD student investigating the effects of stochastic ion-channel gating on spiking variability and the encoding of synaptic inputs.

G. Karl Steinke. A graduate student from biomedical engineering, Karl completed his Masters Thesis in the Galán lab working on computational models of large-scale brain dynamics. To this end, he combined various mathematical and numerical approaches. He was awarded an Ohio First grant to do his research in the Galán lab. Karl is now working as an engineer and computer programmer for Boston Scientific Neuromodulation.

Eliza S. Milner. Eliza was an undergaduate student from Oberlin College. She successfully graduated with a Honors Project on network complexity in a generic model of cortical dynamics. She has been accepted in the neuroscience program for graduate students at Harvard.

Rishi Dhingra. Rishi is a graduate student in the department of neurosciences. He now works with Dr. Thomas "TED" Dick as his primary advisor on the neuronal mechanisms underlying the control of respiration in the brain stem. During a rotation in the lab, he helped set up the experimental rig.

The lab in the past

The Galán Lab in March 2010.

The Galán Lab in May 2009.

Roberto's webpage at the department of neurosciences.

Last update: August 2012