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Professor, Physiology




Dept. of Physiology
Basic Sciences Building
Valhalla, NY 10595

Teaching Profile:

Courses Numbers Course Titles
MP101 Physiology
621A.4, 621B.4 Mammalian Physiology
920.2 Molecular Neurobiology


Professional Interests:

My laboratory studies the properties of individual neurons in the CNS, particularly cells from the hippocampus and cerebellum. We are interested in the properties of dendrites - how potentials propagate in these processes, how they are regulated by other cells and by neuromodulators, and what their role is in synaptic plasticity. Of particular interest are mechanisms that control calcium concentration changes in this region. We do these studies in slices from the brain using electrical recording from different parts of the neuron. We also employ high-speed imaging techniques to reveal information about calcium concentration changes and sodium concentration changes in different regions. We use high speed CCD cameras, 2-photon confocal microscopy and laser uncaging of critical molecules in our experiments. Recently, we have been investigating calcium release from internal stores in the dendrites of these cells. Following synaptic stimulation calcium spreads as a wave in restricted regions of the dendrites. Current experiments are investigating the mechanisms controlling the spread of these waves and examining the role of these waves in the physiology of these cells.

Professional Information:

Professional Memberships Society for Neuroscience, Marine Biological Laboratory
Fellowships Fogarty International Fellowships 1984, 1993
Faculty Government Tenure and Promotions, Faculty Development

Education Profile:

Post Graduate Studies   Dept. of Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

Graduate Degree:   Degree Ph. D. (Physics)

Graduate Degree Institution:   Columbia University

Undergraduate Institution:   Columbia College

Selected Bibliography:

Watanabe, S., Hong, M., Lasser-Ross, N., and Ross, W.N. Modulation of calcium wave propagation in the dendrites and to the soma of rat hippocampal pyramidal neurons. J. Physiol. 575: 455-468, 2006.

Larkum, M.E., Watanabe, S., Nakamura. T., Lasser-Ross, N., Ross. W.N. Synaptically activated Ca2+ waves in layer 2/3 and layer 5 rat neocortical pyramidal neurons. J. Physiol. 549: 471-488, 2003.

Nakamura, T., Lasser-Ross, N., Nakamura, K., Ross, W.N. Spatial segregation and interaction of calcium signalling mechanisms in rat hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. J. Physiol. 543: 465-480, 2002.

Nakamura, T., Barbara, J.-G., Nakamura, K., Ross, W.N. Synergistic release of Ca2+ from IP3-sensitive stores evoked by synaptic activation of mGluRs paired with backpropagating action potentials. Neuron 24: 727-737, 1999.

Tsubokawa, H., Ross, W.N. IPSPs modulate spike backpropagation and associated [Ca2+]i changes in the dendrites of hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons. J. Neurophysiol. 76: 2896-2906, 1996.

Curriculum vitae

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