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The Rittenhouse laboratory is exploring the role that voltage-gated Ca2+ channel (VGCC) subunits play in the body. In neurons, Ca2+ influx through these channels serves a critical function of interfacing electrical signals with biochemical and transcriptional changes. Variability in their level of expression, cell-surface location, and activity has profound effects on how much and where Ca2+ enters a nerve cell. This in turn influences transmitter release, the strength of synaptic contacts as well as cellular and transcriptional processes, which ultimately affect learning, memory, and behavior. At the cellular level, the lab has focused on understanding how neuro­trans­mitters, small lipid molecules, and cytoplasmic proteins modulate VGCC activity in neurons and pancreatic b-cells. These basic questions about VGCC function overlap with our interest in understanding the cellular basis of schizophrenia. Explore the lab research page to learn more about our research interests.

If interested in joining or hearing more about the lab please contact: Ann.Rittenhouse@umassmeed.edu