Associate Director, Djavad Mowafaghian Centre for Brain Health;
Professor, Department of Cellular and Physiological Sciences;
Vice-President elect of the Canadian Association for Neuroscience
Dr. Bamji has a long-standing interest in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying neural connectivity and synaptic plasticity. Her work has provided valuable information about fundamental mechanisms underlying learning and memory, as well as how these processes are perturbed in diseased states.
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Rm 2420, Life Sciences Institute
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
Dr. Bamji's research goals are as follows:
To understand the molecular mechanisms by which synaptic connections in the brain are formed, remodeled and eliminated;
To determine how disruptions in the formation and/or plasticity of synaptic connections perturb brain function;
To determine whether restoring synaptic function in the diseased brain can normalize cognitive and functional abilities.
Synapses of the central nervous system are highly specialized regions of cell-cell contact designed to rapidly and efficiently relay signals from one neuron to another. By establishing a dynamic yet precise network of synaptic connections, the brain is able to attain a level of functional complexity that enables not only simple motor tasks, but also sophisticated emotional and cognitive behaviour. The study of how synapses form and function is therefore essential to our ultimate understanding of higher brain functions such as learning and memory as well as our understanding of how things go awry in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders such as intellectual disabilities, schizophrenia, autism, anxiety disorders, addiction and Alzheimer’s disease.
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