Dr. Kennedy studies the cellular mechanisms underlying synaptic plasticity – how synapses are modified by experience – with a focus on protein trafficking. Evidence suggests that synaptic modification is guided by the regulated trafficking of neurotransmitter receptors, but how these proteins are specifically directed remains unclear. To address this issue, he will utilize novel tools that permit rapid, local, and selective on- and off-state switching of the biochemistry and cell biology underlying different plasticity mechanisms in real time. By understanding how synapses are modified at the molecular level, this work can illuminate the importance of these mechanisms in cognitive function.
Research Program Award (R35)
University of Colorado, Denver, CO