Dr. Olalekan Ogundele
Comparative Biomedical Sciences (CBS)
Gross Anatomy, Cell and Developmental Biology, Histology and Neurobiology.
Our work is focused on the synaptic mechanism of developmental neuropsychiatric disorders that are characterized by an abnormal socio-cognitive function. Specifically, we are interested in hippocampal synaptic switch systems governed by calcium-calmodulin-dependent kinase II alpha (CaMKIIα), and their role in the modulation of synaptic plasticity in early life stress. Currently, we are developing techniques to directly quantify the extent of CaMKIIα phosphorylation in hippocampal (CA1) dendritic spines when various discrete neural circuits in the stress integration pathway are being activated or inhibited during the critical phases of neurodevelopment. Some of the methods we use include; high throughput in vivo neural recording combined with behavioral tests, 3D-fluorescence and ultramicroscopic imaging of CA1 dendritic spines, in vivo cell-specific neural manipulation (Chemogenetics and Optogenetics), neuroanatomical tracing and neurochemical analysis technique. The goal of our research is to determine the significance of neural CaMKIIα phosphorylation patterns in the cause of defective socio-cognitive behavior that may result from early life stress exposure. Ultimately, we sought to elucidate some of the changes that may occur in stress integration sub-circuits, and how they alter the viability of developing CA1 synapses in behaviorally characterized mice.