Welcome to Kavalali Lab!
Our lab studies mechanisms of neurotransmission and synaptic signaling in the central nervous system using electrical and optical recording techniques as well as molecular tools. We focus on the molecular basis and functional consequences of heterogeneity among synaptic vesicle recycling pathways present within individual synapses. In particular, our work has uncovered the role and underlying mechanisms of spontaneous neurotransmitter release that hold it apart mechanistically and functionally from evoked neurotransmission. These studies gave rise to the hypothesis that spontaneous neurotransmission acts as an autonomous neuronal signaling pathway independent of action potential-evoked synaptic transmission. In addition, we have identified spontaneous neurotransmission-dependent signal transduction mechanisms that are required to trigger rapid antidepressant action with our collaborators.