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John Kuwada

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Primary Appointment: LSA Molec./Cell./Develop. Bio
Other PIBS Depts.: Neuroscience
PubMed Name: kuwada jy
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 DESCRIPTION OF RESEARCH
  The Kuwada lab is interested in genes that regulate the development and function of neural circuits and the behaviors they subserve. The lab uses zebrafish since they are transparent, accessible and manipulable at all stages of development, and are vertebrates in which genes can be manipulated by mutagenesis and by the generation of transgenic animals. We generate and analyze behavioral mutations in order to identify neural genes. The phenotype of the nervous system mutants are characterized by electrophysiology, Ca2+ imaging, and imaging of fluorescently labeled proteins important for neural circuit function in living transgenic zebrafish in addition to other cellular and molecular genetic methods. The genes responsible for the mutant phenotypes are then identified by genetic mapping and genomics. Once genes are identified, the biological function of their products are examined by taking advantage of the accessibility, transparency, manipulability and genetics of zebrafish. Mutations being examined include ones that affect the localization of neurotransmitter receptors, signaling within a neural circuit and distribution of voltage-dependent channels. The lab has also identified genes for several zebrafish behavioral mutations that in humans causes muscle diseases. Recently we have begun to explore more complex behaviors by examining the role of a neuropeptide within the brain for regulation of aggressive behaviors.