Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria
|Project Name||Structural plasticity at mossy fiber-CA3 synapses|
|Field of research||Cellular Neuroscience|
|Keywords||synapses | synaptic transmission | neurotransmitters|
Dr. Carolina Borges- Merjane is a neuroscientist by training with a background in biochemistry and cell biology. She investigates how neurons in the brain communicate via synapses. Mechanisms of synaptic transmission provide the building blocks underlying strength, efficacy, reliability and timing for neuronal communication across the brain. Dr. Borges-Merjane uses molecular, physiological and anatomical approaches to study synapses and synaptic transmission from different perspectives, to get a full grasp of how the work. She studied Biochemistry and Cell Biology at the University of California San Diego (U.S.A.). After obtaining her Bachelor of Science, she joined the lab of Prof. Laurence Trussell at the Vollum Institute and Oregon Health & Science University (U.S.A) for her PhD thesis. For her dissertation, she studied glutamatergic synaptic transmission to unipolar brush cells, neurons present in cerebellum-like networks in the brain, important for auditory and vestibular perception, with electrophysiology and confocal microscopy. After finishing her PhD in 2015, Dr. Borges-Merjane joined the lab of Prof. Peter Jonas at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST) Austria, where she was a Marie-Curie Individual Fellow, EMBO Long-Term Fellow and FWF Elise Richter Fellow. She is used electrophysiology and electron microscopy with optogenetics, correlating function and structure, to study synaptic transmission properties under basal and plasticity states, at the hippocampal mossy fiber to CA3 pyramidal neuron synapse in hippocampus. For her postdoctoral work, Dr. Borges-Merjane was awarded the Fritz-Grasenick Prize from the Austrian Society for Electron Microscopy.