C. Andrew Frank Ph.D.

C. Andrew  Frank Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Anatomy and Cell Biology
319-384-1193
1-661A
Bowen Science Building
Research Focus: 

Homeostasis is a robust form of regulation that allows a system to maintain a constant output despite external perturbations. In the nervous system, homeostasis plays a critical role in regulating neuronal and synaptic activity. Yet the molecular basis of this form of neural plasticity is generally unknown. We address this problem using the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.  This model allows us to combine electrophysiology with powerful genetic and pharmacological techniques. The overall goal is to define conserved signaling mechanisms that direct synapses to maintain stable properties, like excitation levels.

It is generally believed that molecules controlling the balance of excitation and inhibition within the nervous system influence many neurological diseases. Therefore, understanding synaptic homeostasis is of clinical interest. This area of research could uncover factors with relevance to the cause and progression of disorders such as epilepsy, which reflects a state of poorly controlled neural function.

Faculty affiliations: 
Research Mode: 
Experimental
Research Paradigm(s): 
Cellular Signalling Pathways
Genetic Engineering
Imaging
Mutation
Network and Systems Biology
Neurogenetics
Protein-protein Interactions
Applications: 
Behavior and Mental Disorders
Development and Dysmorphology
Nervous System
Organisms: 
Drosophila
College: 
Carver College of Medicine

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