October 17, 2021

We had a great lab outing today – first seafood at Lenny and Joes, then an afternoon on the beach!  Just trying to extract the last bit of summer out of the year!

October 5, 2021

I’m incredibly excited and honored to announce that I’ve received one of this year’s NIH Director’s Pioneer Awards (DP1), supported by the NIH Common Fund and the National Eye Institute!  This work ($3.5million over 5 years) will allow us to significantly push the field of synaptic biology, opening up avenues to investigate the dynamics of synaptic strength in awake, behaving mice using a combination of imaging methodologies, including 2-photon and mesoscopic approaches.  We’re also looking for others to join us in the adventure – please contact me for more information if you’re interested!

September 30, 2021

Fall is here – super excited to welcome new people to the lab!  Hao Dong is a graduate student in the School of Engineering, working on new methods for imaging in freely-moving animals.  Estela Correa is a research technician who will continue our efforts to develop and produce viral vectors.  Chang Liu is a 1st-year INP student doing her first rotation at Yale, looking at converging visual and auditory pathways in the mouse cortex.  Welcome everyone!!

September 23, 2021

Really proud to watch Dan Barson successfully defend his PhD work today!  Dan’s work exemplified the wonderful possibilities of collaborative science.  The experimental strategies developed as part of his co-mentored thesis (between the Higley and Crair labs) have become central to our ongoing and future efforts, and I can’t wait to follow his accomplishments as his career continues to flourish!

July 5, 2021

We’re excited to announce new funding to support our work on genes linked to neurodevelopmental disorders!  In collaboration with Jess Cardin, we’ve received a new grant from the LouLou Foundation to study the role of cdkl5 dysfunction in cortical dynamics, and we’ve also received another year of support from the Smith-Magenis Research Foundation to continue our work on rai1.  Finally, a joint effort with Jess Cardin and Tony Koleske has resulted in a new NIH R56 to study mutations in trio.  All these studies take advantage of our continued work using large-scale, mesoscopic calcium imaging.  Thanks so much to our generous supporters!

July 1, 2021

We’re slowly climbing out of the pandemic-era restrictions with lots of exciting updates!  First, we have a great summer planned, with Yale undergrads Gladys Venegas, Sophia Zhao, Shreya Nuli, and Maya Lewis-Hayre joining in some great projects, including a study of experience-dependent reorganization of inhibitory synapses and development of a new stroke model for the lab.  Amajindi Nwankpa from Hunter College is working on a joint project with the Cardin lab studying saccade dynamics in mice.  Zane Kashlan from Georgia State is working on realistic models of dendritic signaling.  We are also welcoming Alejandro Nuño, who is joining the lab full-time as a post-bacc to study inhibitory circuits in the entorhinal cortex.  Finally, new MD/PhD student Victoria Fan has started imaging cellular and axonal dynamics in visual cortex and INP PhD student Rachel Oren has jointly joined the Higley and Cardin labs to study cortical dynamics in neuropsychiatric disorders!  To celebrate surviving the past year and highlight our enthusiasm for the future, we had a wonderful, outdoor and socially-distanced get-together with the Cardin Lab, hosted at the home of our colleague, Gordon Shepherd (see pic below).  Here’s to summer!!!

March 1, 2021

Big congratulations to Victoria Fan, who has been admitted to the Yale MD/PhD program!!

September 22, 2020

Despite the overwhelming challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, there are lots of great things going on in the lab.  This year has seen many new papers out (see Publications), and there are more on the way.  We also welcome two new postdocs!  Dr. Karima Ait Ouares arrives from the University of Grenoble, where she worked with Dr. Marco Canepari on voltage and calcium signaling in Purkinje cell dendrites.  Dr. Olivier Dubanet arrives from INSERM, Bordeaux, where he worked with Dr. Andreas Frick to study inhibitory circuits in the hippocampus.  Both will be using in vivo imaging modalities to study synaptic and circuit function.  Welcome!!

July 1, 2020

Brief update to the last bit of news…  I have officially received tenure (ten-year?) from Yale!  Thanks to so many friends, colleagues, mentors, and mentees who have supported and shared this journey!  There have been an amazing number of highs, a few lows, wonderful companions, and some awesome science, and even more to come in the near future!  Stay tuned….

April 1, 2020

Wow!  Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the Higley Lab at Yale!  April 1st always seemed like an auspicious day to start the lab.  I am incredibly thankful for all the people who have contributed so much to the group since that day – it’s been a privilege to work with you all.  This is a challenging moment – the lab is working entirely from home and making the best of a tough situation.  Nevertheless, we are carrying on – data analyses, manuscript and grant writing, and meeting up digitally to share our efforts and company.  There are some amazing stories in preparation – so stay tuned, stay safe, and stay sane!

January 22, 2020

Happy New Year!  Lots of good news to welcome in 2020.  Postdoc Andrew Moberly received an NRSA Fellowship from the NEI to apply our dual 2-photon/mesoscopic imaging system to understanding the organization of mouse visual circuits.  We also received a grant from the Smith-Magenis Syndrome Research Foundation for a joint project with Jess Cardin.  We are using mesoscopic imaging to investigate altered cortical dynamics in Rai1-deleted mice, a model for Smith-Magenis Syndrome.  Finally, we have a new review just out in the Journal of Neuroscience discussing the spatiotemporal constraints on cortical signaling by acetylcholine, co-authored with Anita Disney (Duke University).  Stay tuned – more to come!

November 14, 2019

This has been an incredibly busy and exciting fall semester!  We have welcomed three rotation students into the lab from the Yale INP program.  Rebecca Greenberg is using electrophysiology to study cholinergic regulation of synaptic inhibition in V1, Fei Yue is using 2-photon imaging to study interactions of prefrontal and visual circuits in vivo, and Luke Ziolkowski is using mesoscopic imaging to look at spatial summation of visual inputs in behaving mice!  In addition, we have two new papers in press.  A large collaborative study headed up by Dan Barson and Ali Hamodi is now out in Nature Methods, demonstrating the use of dual 2-photon and mesoscopic imaging to study functional connectivity in cortical networks.  In addition, Lan’s paper on corticopontine circuits and their role in a visually cued conditioned eyeblink task is now in press at Neuron!  Congratulations to everyone!

You can check out some coverage of our Nature Methods paper here… Yale News

March 21, 2019

Lots of updates!  First, two new papers out from the lab – Lur et al. (PLoS One) demonstrates that ketamine administration disrupts the normal neuromodulation of synaptic inputs to cortical neurons and Chiu et al. (Nature Reviews Neuroscience) presents a detailed overview of long-term GABAergic plasticity!  In addition, we have two new postdocs!  Hadas Benisty is a mathematician looking at novel analyses for in vivo 2-photon and mesoscopic imaging data.  Andrew Moberly (a joint postdoc with the Cardin Lab) is investigating the role of visual cortex in behavior.  Welcome!!

June 22, 2018

Awesome dinner out with the lab!  So much food!!

May 14, 2018

New faces in the lab!

We’d love to welcome our new INP rotation student, Kathy Zhang, to the lab!  Kathy is particularly interested in state-dependent modulation of cortical circuits and will be carrying out a project imaging V1 activity in awake behaving mice.  In addition, we will have a number of Yale undergrads working with us this summer, Natasha Zaliznyak, Chika Ogbejesi, Dawit Mengesha, and Martina Hollearn.  Shaping up to be a great summer!

April 30, 2018

Just got back from an awesome retreat for the Yale Department of Neuroscience at Jiminy Peak, MA! Great talks and a lot of fun had by all.  Thanks to Alka for another bottle of famous Polish vodka!  Here is a group pic of the current Higley and Cardin labs.

April 23, 2018

We’d like to welcome Dr. Jyoti Gupta, our newest postdoc, to the lab!  Jyoti did her graduate work with Dr. Jan Nagele at Wesleyan.  She will be studying the function of excitatory inputs to GABAergic interneurons in the mouse cortex.

January 19, 2018

Our latest work describing long-term plasticity at GABAergic synapses is now out at Neuron.  This great work from former postdoc Chiayu Chiu shows that activation of NMDA-type glutamate receptors produces a long-term potentiation of inhibitory inputs arising from SOM-INs.  Surprisingly, synapses from PV- and VIP-INs do not exhibit this plasticity.  Our results suggest this difference is due to a diversity of postsynaptic molecular composition across somatic and dendritic GABAergic inputs.  Thanks also to great collaborative effort from my colleagues Susumu Tomita at Yale and Steve Tavalin at U. Tennessee!

June 8, 2017

We are sad to say goodbye to postdoc Dr. Gyorgy Lur, who is starting his own group at the University of California, Irvine this summer.  Gyuri made fundamental contributions to the lab’s work understanding the regulation of synaptic transmission down to the level of single dendritic spines before branching out to pioneer our in vivo studies of mouse visual cortex.  We wish him all the best in his new endeavor!