CrabLab, the research lab of

Katherine Graubard

Department of Zoology, Box 351800,
University of Washington
Seattle WA 98195-1800 USA
Phone +1(206)543-1648
Fax +1(206)543-3041

My laboratory uses the stomatogastric ganglion of crabs and lobsters (a small and well-defined motor circuit) as a model system for study of the mechanisms that underlie the functional plasticity of neurons and of animal behaviors. The neurons that we study are both motorneurons and part of several pattern generating circuits.

Neuromodulator inputs can alter the properties of the cells and their synaptic and electrical interactions within the larger neural network, reconfiguring the network for different motor outputs. The questions we ask include: what are the "baseline" properties of the different neurons and how do the modulator transmitters reconfigure cell properties and thereby change circuit function.

The techniques used in my lab include: intracellular recording, voltage clamp, and calcium imaging from neurons either in ganglia or in cell culture; immunohistochemistry and intracellular dye injection for neuron reconstruction using confocal microscopy and electron microscopy; and mathematical models of neuron and network function.

Current research by graduate students is on the role of the second messenger, cyclic GMP, in the development and modulation of the stomatogastric nervous system and on the types, distribution, and functioning of calcium channels on stomatogastric neurons.

Ross, W.N., Graubard, K. Spatially and temporally resolved calcium changes in oscillating neurons of the crab stomatogastric ganglion. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci., U.S.A. 86:1679-1683 (1989).

Hartline, D.K., Graubard, K. Cellular and synaptic properties. In: Dynamic Biological Networks: The Stomatogastric Nervous System, edited by R. M. Harris-Warrick, E. Marder, A.I. Selverston and M. Moulins, Boston, MIT Press, pp. 31-85 (1992).

Zirpel, L., Baldwin, D., Graubard, K. Nickel induces oscillatory behavior and enhanced synaptic and electrotonic transmission between stomatogastric neurons of Panulirus interruptus. Brain Res. 617:205-213 (1993).

Christie, A.E., Baldwin, D., Turrigiano, G., Graubard, K., Marder, E. Immunocytochemistry of multiple cholecystokinin-like peptides in the stomatogastric nervous system of the crab, Cancer borealis: Regional distribution and colocalization with other neuromodulators. J. Exp. Biol.198:263-271 (1995).

Baldwin, D., Graubard, K. Distribution of fine neurites of stomatogastric neurons of the crab, Cancer borealis. J. Comp. Neurol. 356:353-367 (1995).

Scholz, N.L., Goy, M.F., Truman, J.W., Graubard, K. Two distinct pathways for activating cGMP in the crab stomatogastric nervous system. J. Neurosci. 16:1614-1622 (1996).

WORK IN PROGRESS contains abstracts of recent research presentations at the Biophysical Society and the Society for Neuroscience.
Ray Price's summer 1995 undergraduate research project
There is a more complete list of publications.

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Eve Marder's Lab
Dan Hartline's lab
other labs working on the stomatogastric ganglion.

revised November 1997