Our work is a deep dive into the individual unit of the brain: the neuron. Although central to our brain, neurons’ inner working is not so well understood. This stems in part from their very nature: neurons are champions of cell-cell communication. They connect with hundreds to thousands of neighbouring cells, communicating with each other across synapses. These synapse-driven circuits receive, integrate, and send a wide range of information to elicit appropriate behaviour. The human brain is made of billions of neurons connected by around 100 trillion synapses.
Our understanding of complex brains requires solid cellular foundations. We aim to provide these foundations in a simple circuit made of 300 neurons and ~7000 synapses in C. elegans. How proteins are moved to the appropriate location: sensory proteins to cilia, synaptic proteins to synapses? How do proteins floating in the cell change during a synaptic signal, and how it changes future synaptic function? Using concepts and techniques employed in cell biology, we tease the (sub)cellular mechanisms that power neuron-to-neuron communication in our brain.