Neuroscience Department

The newly founded Neuroscience Department at the UCC is devoted to the integration of state of the art research in the area of neuronal communication and first-rate training of B.S., M.S., M.D., and Ph.D. students in neuroscience research, as well as their career development. Currently the Department includes three faculty members, who have active and productive research programs in the area of neuronal communication.

Our research is focused on a vital question that lies in the origin of understanding learning, memory, and severe neurological diseases, such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer’s; how can the activity and efficacy of neuronal communications be modified and regulated?

The Department has high-end facilities and equipment for multidisciplinary investigations of the nerve structure and function. This includes sophisticated instrumentation for tracing fluorescent molecular markers in live neurons and for the study of neuronal substructures at the sub-cellular and macromolecular level.

 

Biochemistry Department Faculty


Maria Bykhovskaia

Department Chairman

At the cellular level, learning and memory are represented by changes in the efficacy of the neuronal communication. Many neurological disorders, such as epilepsy, schizophrenia, and Parkinson’s disease may result from subtle disruptions in the regulation of release of neuronal transmitters. Release of transmitters from synaptic terminals is highly dynamic and plastic, and synaptic efficacy can be modified in response to activity at both structural and functional levels. We employ a combination of physiological, genetic, and anatomical approaches to understand how structure and function of neuronal terminals can be regulated by activity.maria.bykhovskaia@uccaribe.edu


Thomas Schikorsk
i

Professor

Chronic pain is a burdensome disorder which affects millions of people in their daily lives. Scientific research established that pathologic synaptic function and connectivity is the cause for this disorder and many other diseases like epilepsy, stroke, and Alzheimer. We study synaptic function and connectivity to elucidate the physiological and molecular mechanisms that go awry in an attempt to find ways to correct the malfunctions that occur in patients. For this purpose we apply a wide range of modern scientific techniques that include high resolution 3D confocal laser microscopy, genetic approaches, transgenic mouse models, electrophysiology, and electron microscopy.thomas.schokorski@uccaribe.edu


Ramón Jorquera

Professor

 

Biochemistry Staff


Illeana García

Department Coordinator
ileana.garcia@uccaribe.edu 

Dina Castillo
SNRP Coordinator
dina.castillo@uccaribe.edu 

Dianne Ramos

 

Facilities

Ph.D. in Neuroscience >>

Contact Us

Neuroscience Department

Universidad Central del Caribe
PO Box 60327
Bayamón, Puerto Rico 00960-6032
Phone (787) 798-3001

e-mail: ileana.garcia@uccaribe.edu