Dr. Spitzer's research focuses on neurotransmitter switching - a form of neuroplasticity in which neurons change the transmitters that they make and release in response to sustained sensory or motor activity. While this switching is present in the developing brain, his group has found that it also occurs in the adult mammalian brain. For this project, he plans to determine how transmitter switches are induced by environmental stimuli, the mechanisms that promote and modulate transmitter switching, and the impact of that switching on brain regions. This work will inform a better understanding of the role of neurotransmitter switching in regulating behaviors.
Research Program Award (R35)
University of California, San Diego, CA