Carolina Borges-Merjane

Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria

Project Name Structural plasticity at mossy fiber-CA3 synapses
Publication Page
Field of research Cellular Neuroscience
Keywords synapses | synaptic transmission | neurotransmitters
Twitter @caroklein_bm

Studying synapses: how do our neurons communicate?


What is my research about?

Neurons in the brain communicate via points of contacts called “synapses”. Information is transferred from the “pre”-synaptic neuron, through the synapse, to the “post”-synaptic neuron. Mechanisms of synaptic transmission provide the building blocks underlying strength, efficacy, reliability and timing for neuronal communication across the brain. My research uses molecular, physiological and anatomical approaches to study synapses and synaptic transmission from different perspectives, to get a full grasp of how the work.

What motivates me?
I am driven by my curiosity about the brain and how the rapid changes which occur during neuronal communication can have such an impact. While research on a daily-basis can be slow and requires a lot of resilience, studying the brain means also to understand ourselves better. How we learn, how we remember, how we see, how we hear, how we feel, how we sleep, how we stay awake… are things about ourselves that are fascinating to try to understand!


What is the best advice I have ever received?
From my PhD supervisor: [Nothing is “weird”, but rather it’s “interesting”] About something new we observe. If we go about things from that perspective, we will always learn something. Not just in science, but for anything in life.
From my postdoc supervisor: [Ein Experiment ist kein Experiment] Be thorough and quantitative, to be certain that what we observe is the truth.