Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2010
Home Department: Neurosciences
Faculty Advisors: Karl Deisseroth (Bioengineering, Psychiatry) and John Huguenard (Neurology & Neurological Sciences)

Research Title: Activity-dependence of GABA and somatostatin release in the hippocamposeptal circuit

Research Description: The mammalian brain has been widely studied on the scale of individual neurons and large brain regions, but the intermediate, circuit-level scale is poorly understood. A recently developed technique, optogenetics, uses light-sensitive bacterial proteins targeted to defined cell populations, enabling light-driven control of just those circuit elements in order to determine their role in brain activity and behavior. Joanna was enhancing these techniques and using them to study the circuit connecting the hippocampus and the medial septum, two brain regions involved in learning and memory.


Joanna completed her neurology residency and epilepsy fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She is now a tenure track Assistant Professor at the University of Michigan.