Kristen Harris

Department of Neuroscience and Center for Learning and Memory

Kristen Harris' laboratory studies structural synaptic plasticity in the developing and mature nervous system. Her group has been among the first to develop computer-assisted approaches to analyze synapses in three dimensions through serial section electron microscopy (3DEM) under a variety of experimental and natural conditions. These techniques have led to new understanding of synaptic structure under normal conditions as well as in response to experimental conditions such as long-term potentiation, a cellular mechanism of learning and memory. The body of work includes novel information about how subcellular components are redistributed specifically to those synapses that are undergoing plasticity during learning and memory, brain development, and pathological conditions including epilepsy. Theoretical and computational methods include computational vision for 3D EM reconstruction, high-dimensional spline methods, and molecular simulations of neurotransmitter signaling across the synaptic cleft.

Lab website