Welcome to the Janusonis Laboratory at UC Santa Barbara!
Our laboratory studies the brain serotonin matrix and its interactions with other cellular elements. Serotonin molecules are ancient signal carriers that control the behavior of a shark, the cognition of a human, and many other vertebrate neuroprocesses. In particular, we are interested in the communication between serotonin-releasing axons and microglia and in functional relationships between serotonergic varicosities and blood platelets. Some of these problems have immediate clinical relevance: nearly all mental disorders have been associated with dysfunction in serotonin signaling, and the platelet hyperserotonemia of autism remains an enigma after half a century of research. We use a wide range of approaches that include molecular neurobiology, comparative neuroanatomy, and complex-systems methods.
- The laboratory has been awarded a Challenge Grant by the California NanoSystems Institute (Brain Serotonergic Fibers: From a Single-cell Stochastic Process to Cognition in a Matrix). (December 2017)
- Riley Demos has been awarded an URCA grant. (December 2017)
- Norma Brown and Keon Youssefzadeh have been awarded an URCA grant. (December 2017)
- Marcus Vicari has received the 2016-2017 College of Letters and Science Frances Colville and Terry Dearborn Memorial Award and the Morgan Award for Academic Excellence in Psychological and Brain Sciences. (May 2017)
- Some galeomorph sharks express a mammalian microglia-specific protein in radial ependymoglia of the telencephalon. Brain Behav. Evol. (in press).
- A receptor-based analysis of local ecosystems in the human brain. BMC Neurosci. 18:33.
- Serotonin 5-HT4 receptors modulate the development of glutamatergic input to the dorsal raphe nucleus. Neurosci. Lett. 640: 111-116.
- Serotonin in space: Understanding single fibers. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 8: 893-896.