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METALS IN NEUROBIOLOGY

The unique biology of the brain as the center of consciousness, from learning and memory to senses like sight, smell, and taste, is underpinned by unique chemistry that remains insufficiently understood. We seek to decipher why the brain accumulates unexpected chemical elements at higher concentrations than any other part of the body, including redox-active transition metals like copper and iron, and how they are dysregulated in neurodegenerative Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases as well as neurological disorders affecting sleep and obesity. We are applying activity-based sensing (ABS) in conjunction with CRISPR, optogenetics, and behavioral assays to identify roles of transition metal chemistry in neural signaling and neurodegeneration using zebrafish and mouse models.

REVIEWS

Chang, C. J. "Bioinorganic Life and Neural Activity: Toward a Chemistry of Consciousness?", Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, 50, 535-538. [html] [pdf]




Cotruvo, Jr., J. A.; Aron, A. T.; Ramos-Torres, K. M.; Chang, C. J. "Synthetic fluorescent probes for studying copper in biological systems", Chem. Soc. Rev. 2015, 44, 4400-4414. [pdf]




Que, E. L.; Domaille, D. W.; Chang, C. J. "Metals in Neurobiology: Probing Their Chemistry and Biology with Molecular Imaging", Chem. Rev. 2008, 108, 1517-1549. [pdf]




REPRESENTATIVE PUBLICATIONS

Dodani, S. C.; Firl, A.; Chan, J.; Nam, C. I.; Aron, A. T.; Onak, C. S.; Ramos-Torres, K. M.; Paek, J.; Webster, C. W.; Feller, M. B.; Chang, C. J. "Copper is an endogenous modulator of neural circuit spontaneous activity", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2014, 111, 16280-16285. [html] [pdf]




Dodani, S. C.; Domaille, D. W.; Nam, C. I.; Miller, E. W.; Finney, L. A.; Vogt, S.; Chang, C. J. "Calcium-dependent copper redistributions in neuronal cells revealed by a fluorescent copper sensor and X-ray fluorescence microscopy", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2011, 108, 5980-5985. [pdf] [html]






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Updated July 17 2017