Sep 12 2019

LIN Seminar: Keep CALM and Mind The Gap: Calcium-dependent mechanisms of synaptic development by Brian Ackley, University of Kansas

September 12, 2019

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


4289 SEL


840 West Taylor, Chicago, IL 60607, Chicago, IL 60607

Host: Janet Richmond

Abstract: Calcium is a ubiquitous secondary messenger, that regulates a myriad of developmental and homeostatic events. Cells turn transient changes into discrete functions using calcium binding proteins that have their own unique set of activities. We have previously shown that the activity of presynaptic calcium channels is required for synaptic development in C. elegans, and that this activity is independent of their role in vesicle exocytosis. We have now found a calcium binding protein, calmyrin, that appears to regulate synaptic development downstream of presynaptic calcium channels. Here I will discuss how CALM-1, the single C. elegans calmyrin ortholog, functions in synaptic development.

Bio: Brian D. Ackley completed undergraduate degrees in Chemistry and Psychology before joining the Northwestern University Institute for Neuroscience for his Ph.D. His dissertation research was focused on the C. elegans homolog of the type XV/XVIII collagen proteins. His work provided the first evidence that collagens in the ECM were important for neural development. He then moved to Dr. Yishi Jin’s lab, to study synaptic development using C. elegans as a model system, where he continued to focus on extracellular matrix and cell adhesion molecules in neuronal development. Dr. Ackley moved to Dr. Janet Richmond’s lab to learn synaptic physiology, working on the synaptic protein tomosyn. From there, he moved on to his academic position at the University of Kansas, in 2007. At KU, Dr. Ackley has continued to work on the fundamental mechanisms of neuronal development, using C. elegans as a model system, and has recently started a project on the evolutionary adaptation of these animals to pathogens.


Suzanne Harrison

Date posted

Jun 27, 2019

Date updated

Aug 29, 2019