Jun Nagai and colleagues in Prof. Bal Khakh’s lab published in Cell that astrocytes, non-neuronal cells in the brain, regulate behaviors including hyperactivity and attention by promoting new connections between neurons. Hyperactivity with Disrupted Attention by Activation of an Astrocyte Synaptogenic Cue Cell Volume 177, Issue 5, 16 May 2019, Pages 1280-1292.e20 (PDF of article)
In Nature Immunology
faculty members Sonal Srikanth and Yousang Gwack
report a new role for a Ca2+ sensor molecule (STIM1)
to keep the immune system in check by retaining STING (stimulator of interferon genes) in the ER.
STIM1 moonlights as an anchor for STING Nature Immunology 20, 152–162 (2019)
Dr. Tamir Gonen, an electron crystallography expert at UCLA, teamed up with colleagues, along with Brian Stoltz at Caltech, to see whether the Gonen lab’s electron microscopy imaging methods would work with smaller organic molecules. The California team reported it worked nearly every time, delivering a resolution on par with x-ray crystallography. Scientists say the new technique could revolutionize fields both inside and outside of research.
You can read the Department's 2018 accomplishments in the PDF:
2018 Department of Physiology Highlights