UCL Division of Biosciences


CDB Seminar - Prof Baljit S. Khakh, UCLA Medical School

22 February 2024, 4:00 pm–5:00 pm

photo of Professor Baljit Khakh

Title: Astrocyte Diversity in Neural Circuits: Identity, Form, and Function

This event is free.

Event Information

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Michael Wright – Cell and Developmental Biology

Talk abstract: The study of the brain, a highly complex multicellular organ, has witnessed spectacular advances in the last few decades. Despite this laudable progress, severe blind spots in our understanding of basic brain function and disease still remain. Many cell types that make up the brain are non-neuronal, and many aspects of these cells have been understudied or overlooked. The brain’s non-neuronal cells include glia, which represent about half of all brain cells. Khakh will describe a series of studies from his laboratory that provide new insights on predominant glial cells called astrocytes, named historically because of their alluring, yet deceptively simple star-like shapes. He will tackle long-standing questions in neuroscience concerning the functions of astrocytes in the brain. It is now clear that signaling between diverse astrocytes and neurons plays pivotal roles in both normal brain physiology and in disease conditions.

Suggested references:

JS. Soto, Y. Jami-Alahmadi, J. Chacon, SL. Moye, B. Diaz-Castro, JA. Wohlschlegel & BS. Khakh (2023) Astrocyte and neuron subproteomes and obsessive-compulsive disorder mechanisms. Nature, 616: 764-773

F. Endo, A. Kasai, JS. Soto, X. Yu, Z. Qu, H. Hashimoto, V. Gradinaru,  R. Kawaguchi, & BS Khakh (2022). Molecular basis of astrocyte diversity and morphology across the CNS in health and disease. Science (Research Article) Nov 4;378(6619):eadc9020. doi: 10.1126/science.adc9020.

J. Nagai, AK. Rajbhandari, MR. Gangwani, A. Hachisuka, G. Coppola, SC. Masmanidis, MS. Fanselow & BS. Khakh (2019) Hyperactivity with disrupted attention by activation of an astrocyte synaptogenic cue. Cell, 177: 1280-92.

Nagai J, Yu X, Papouin T, Cheong E, Freeman MR, Monk KR, Hastings MH, Haydon PG, Rowitch D, Shaham S, Khakh BS (2021). Behaviorally consequential astrocytic regulation of neural circuits. Neuron 109:576-596.

Zoom: https://ucl.zoom.us/j/94292246674

Host: Prof Patricia Salinas

About the Speaker

Prof Baljit S. Khakh

Professor of Physiology and Neurobiology at UCLA Medical School

More about Prof Baljit S. Khakh