Nadim · Golowasch · Bucher

Welcome to the STG lab!

Our laboratory is part of the Federated Department of Biological Sciences of the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and Rutgers University Newark. It is run by three Principal Investigators, Farzan Nadim, Jorge Golowasch, and Dirk Bucher, all faculty in the department. We use both experimental and theoretical approaches to study the neurophysiology of a small central pattern generating circuit in lobsters and crabs, the stomatogastric ganglion (STG). Central pattern generators (CPGs) are networks of nerve cells in the central nervous system that generate the basic patterned electrical activity underlying most rhythmic behaviors like walking and breathing in all animals. We are taking advantage of the experimental accessibility of the crustacean nervous system to uncover fundamental principles that govern neural processing across all animal and human nervous systems.

  • STG neurons3D reconstructions of confocal images
  • Central Pattern GenerationThe pyloric circuit and the rhythm it produces
  • Decapod CrustaceansJonah crab and Maine lobster, our experimental animals
  • Neuropil structure of the STGCrab (l, m) and lobster (r) STGs. Stained synaptic contacts are shown in red.
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New Postdoctoral Fellow

Haroon Anwar, Ph.D. joined to the lab. Haroon received his Ph.D. from the University of Antwerp, Belgium, under the guidance of Eric De Schutter, but did most of his work in Japan at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology. While his doctoral work was all theoretical, he now uses both theoretical and experimental approaches to study neuronal excitability.

New Grant

Dirk Bucher and Farzan Nadim received a 5-year R01 award from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at NIH. The goal is to study the role of axons in neural coding. The project makes use of the well-defined temporal patterns of activity in the crustacean stomatogastric nervous system to define neuromodulator- and activity-dependent changes in axonal excitability and their impact on the temporal fidelity of action potential propagation. History-dependence of action potential propagation is an understudied form of neural plasticity that is important for neural coding and has become a recent subject of extensive interest.

Latest Papers

Farzan Nadim and Dirk Bucher published a review on neuromodulation for an upcoming special issue in Current Opinion in Neurobiology:

Nadim F, Bucher D (2014) Neuromodulation of neurons and synapses. Curr Opin Neurobiol 29C:48-56.   PubMed  

Jorge Golowasch published a review on the regulation of neuronal excitability:

Golowasch J (2014) Ionic Current Variability and Functional Stability in the Nervous System. BioScience 64:570-580.   Journal