Steve Ramirez, Ph.D.
Steve Ramirez, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
The mission of Dr. Ramirez's lab is twofold: to reveal the neural circuit mechanisms of memory storage and retrieval, and to artificially modulate memories to combat maladaptive states. They will do so in a multi-disciplinary fashion by combining virus engineering strategies, immunohistochemistry and physiology, optogenetics and functional imaging of targeted populations in vivo, and a battery of behavioral assays. Their technical repertoire, of course, will evolve as their studies evolve.
Given that any given brain region interacts with numerous targets along exquisitely precise spatial and temporal dimensions — nothing in the brain exists in a vacuum — they’ll study the circuit-wide and behavioral manifestations of learning and memory across a variety of structurally and functionally connected areas, including, but not limited to, the hippocampus, amygdala, and prefrontal cortex. For example, Dr. Ramirez believes that a systems-level analysis of memory that perturbs genetically defined, projection-specific cell-types, while simultaneously surveying their real-time physiological dynamics, is a tractable experimental path towards understanding, and controlling, this seemingly ephemeral process.
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