Messages from Haruo Kasai

2020.4.

We have found the presynaptic actions of spine enlargement of spines whose proof was technically demandning. Spine enlargement is destined to push the presynaptic terminals, but its proof has been extreemly difficult. Using various recent technology, we have clarified the pushing effects are potent. It took 16 years after our discovery of spine enlargement. Fortunately we found unexpected features in the pushing, and it appears to me that he pushing effect is the most impotant discovery after mEPP (Fatt & Katz 1950). How its underlie the cognitive function?

We are improving the synaptic memory probes to elucidate spacio-temporal distributions of memory synapses.

Another niche is monoamine functions in the Nucleus accumbens (the ventral stiatum) and PFC in emotional behaviors, lead by Sho Yaghishita.

We use new optogenetics, two-photon microscope, uncaging, electrophysiology, molecular biology, behavioral tasks to uncover the most mysterious aspect of brain functions, such as perception, learning & memory, emotion, and mental disorders (depression, schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders). In achieving these, we have been based on the most prominent types of synapse, spine synapses, and we are heading for delineating the entire functional circuits underlying the brain functions and disorders. We welcome collborators from abroad at various levels, master couse and PhD students, post doctoral fellow and visiting professorships. If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact us with e-mail. (2020.04.22)