Sam Young Lab Research

Research Summary
My laboratory is focused on the fundamental question– “How do synapses enable neuronal circuits to encode a wide diversity of information?” Using the calyx of Held presynaptic terminal as a model we have focused on four different areas: 1) Determining the mechanisms for fast auditory signalling. 2) Determining the molecular mechanisms that determine VGCC subtype abundance, organization and proximity of VGCCs to SV which enable synapses to precisely tune synaptic release probability and release kinetics to match the functional need of the circuit. 3) Development of viral vector technology for neuro-specific applications. 4) Development of gene therapy approaches for hearing preservation and restoration. Outcomes from our work will define the molecular principles that govern how synaptic properties drive neuronal circuit output which underpins organism behavior. Furthermore, these molecular principles uncovered may reveal the underlying causes of neuronal circuit dysregulation which results in neuropsychiatric or neurodegenerative diseases and have the potential to give rise to new therapeutic treatments.