Our lab uses state of the art recording and manipulation techniques to examine how circuits control behavior and how abnormal circuit processing can lead to neurological diseases such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Our primary goal is to find causal circuit mechanisms that lead to seizures and cognitive deficits in epilepsy and AD and to determine how they can be suppressed with novel interventions.
We specialize in recording neural activity during active behavior using in vivo calcium imaging with miniature microscopes and in vivo electrophysiology with silicon probes. We combine these recordings with optogenetics, chemogenetics, pharmacology, immunohistochemistry, and other techniques.
We are also developing new tools to study abnormal circuits. This includes advancing miniature microscope technology, using closed-loop optogenetic feedback during electrophysiological recordings to control abnormal circuit processing, and developing new pharmacological treatments for neurological disorders.
All open-source tools we develop are available on our lab GitHub page: https://github.com/ShumanLab
Cognitive Deficits Associated with Temporal Lobe Epilepsy
Epilepsy is a debilitating disorder that affects over 3 million Americans, with 30% of patients unresponsive to anti-epileptic drugs and often resorting to large resections of the brain. Therefore, it is critical to develop new therapeutic interventions to suppress seizures and cognitive deficits in epilepsy. My lab uses state of the art recording and manipulation techniques to examine how abnormal circuit processing leads to seizures and cognitive deficits in epilepsy and to understand how seizures and cognitive deficits can be suppressed with novel interventions. We use in vivo calcium imaging with miniature microscopes as well as in vivo electrophysiology with silicon probes to examine how the epileptic brain is altered in mice.
Interneuron and Network Dysfunction in Mouse Models of Alzheimer's Disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a form of dementia characterized by memory loss and progressive cognitive impairments. Memory impairments in AD increase with age and are linked to hyperexcitability, circuit remodeling, and impaired interneuron function. However, it remains unclear how changes in interneuron function contribute to cognitive deficits. My lab is using in vivo electrophysiology with silicon probes to examine how hippocampal interneuron function is altered in AD model mice and investigate whether network dysfunction in young, pre-symptomatic mice can predict future memory impairments. We are also using calcium imaging with Miniscopes to track the progression of spatial coding and memory deficits throughout the entorhinal-hippocampal memory circuit.
Open source technology development
Our lab is dedicated to developing new tools for the neuroscience community and sharing them openly in order to enhance the impact our work can have. I was one of the lead developers of the open-source Miniscope project at UCLA and am continuing to develop new versions of the Miniscope and open-source analytical tools to help perform calcium imaging with miniature microscopes.
In addition, my lab is developing open source tools to directly manipulate synchronization in the brain. We have developed PhaSER, an open-source tool to deliver optogenetic stimulation at precise phases of theta oscillations and are using this technology to investigate the causal role of spike timing in seizure susceptibility and in cognition.
We do our best to follow these principles in our science:
1. Do GREAT science!
Rigorous and impactful science is the only science worth doing. It doesn’t have to be flashy, but it should be compelling, thorough, and robust. My lab uses molecular, cellular, systems, and behavioral experiments to answer difficult questions. We will use the best tools available to answer these questions, and if it isn’t available yet, we will develop it.
2. Tackle important questions that IMPACT the scientific and patient community
Our research should make a lasting impact. We will tackle big problems that have implications for a broad range of neuroscience. We will develop tools for use among the scientific community and will share openly with everyone. We will always strive to find translational applications of our research that will improve treatment options for patients.
3. Together everyone achieves more.
We believe in open team science. That means working together within and across labs to reach our goals. That means reaching out for help to learn new techniques, and also helping others. We collaborate widely within the lab and help other labs as much as we can. We openly share our ideas and data because that is the best way to move science forward.
Chen, L., Christenson Wick, Z., Vetere, L.M., Vaughan, N., Jurkowski, A., Galas, A., Diego, K.S., Philipsberg, P.A., Soler, I., Feng, Y., Cai, D.J., Shuman, T. (2023). Progressive excitability changes in the medial entorhinal cortex in the 3xTg mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease pathology. Journal of Neuroscience, DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1204-23.2023
Philipsberg, P.A., Christenson Wick, Z., Diego, K.S., Vaughan, N., Galas, A., Jurkowski, A., Feng, Y., Vetere, L.M., Chen, L., Cai, D.J., Shuman, T. (2023). Chronotate: An open-source tool for manual timestamping and quantification of animal behavior. Neuroscience Letters. Aug 23; 814:137461. PMID: 37619698
Christenson Wick, Z., Philipsberg, P.A., Lamsifer, S.I., Kohler, C., Katanov, E., Feng, Y., Humphrey, C., & Shuman, T. (2023). Manipulating single-unit theta phase-locking with PhaSER: An open-source tool for real-time phase estimation and manipulation. bioRxiv. 2023.02.21.529420.
Chen, L., Francisco, T.R., Baggetta, A.M., Zaki, Y., Ramirez, S., Clem, R.L., *Shuman, T., *Cai, D.J. (2023). Ensemble-specific deficits in neuronal intrinsic excitability in aged mice. Neurobiology of Aging, March 2023, 123, p92-97, available online. *co-senior author
*^Shuman T, *Aharoni D, *Cai DJ, Lee CR, Chavlis S, Page-Harley L, Vetere LM, Feng Y, Yang CY, Mollinedo-Gajate I, Chen L, Pennington ZT, Taxidis J, Flores SE, Cheng K, Javaherian M, Kaba CC, Rao N, La-Vu M, Pandi I, Shtrahman M, Bakhurin KI, Masmanidis SC, Khakh BS, ^Poirazi P, Silva AJ, ^Golshani P. Breakdown of spatial coding and interneuron synchronization in epileptic mice. Nat Neurosci. 2020 Feb;23(2):229-238. doi: 10.1038/s41593-019-0559-0. Epub 2020 Jan 6. PMID: 31907437; PMCID: PMC7259114. *co-first author, ^co-senior author
For a full list of publications visit: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=Cc_50gYAAAAJ&hl=en
Meet the Team
We are not actively recruiting for our lab at this time, but future positions may open in the near future. We are always looking for people who share our passion for science, work hard to achieve their goals, and have fun working in a challenging but highly rewarding environment. If you are interested in our lab, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with a CV and cover letter describing why you are interested in the lab.
Come learn cutting-edge techniques before you apply for graduate or medical school. By the time you leave our lab you will be proficient in calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and behavior. You will run independent experiments and be involved in every aspect of the research from experimental design to publication. These skills will be the foundation of your science career and will put you on a path to success. Because of the substantial training involved, a 2 year commitment is preferred.
Grad students should come into my lab with a passion for science and a drive to succeed. We will work together to form a dissertation project around our mutual interests. You will leave my lab capable of performing every aspect of innovative research, have a deep understanding of your field, be actively engaged in the scientific community, and be prepared for your next step. All graduate students must apply and be accepted to the PhD program in Neuroscience or Biomedical Science.
Postdocs should come into my lab ready to test a novel idea in new and innovative ways. We will work together to build an original research program that has potential for high impact within the scientific field. Postdocs should strive to be thought leaders in their field and highly engaged with the scientific community through conferences, lectures, workshops, and peer review.
Undergraduate Research Assistants
Come gain valuable lab experience and make a real impact by assisting our lab with experiments. Undergraduates are highly integrated into our research program and perform behavioral testing, aseptic surgery, animal care, data analysis, and everything else we do in the lab! No experience is needed as we will train you to do everything. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gain real research experience for anyone interested in graduate or medical school.
As a mentor, I am dedicated to the success of my trainees in achieving their goals. I strongly believe that if my trainees are successful, then our lab will thrive with both research progress and making a positive environment for personal and professional growth. Each trainee will have an individual training plan that will lay out the expectations and goals for their time in the lab. For some trainees that may lead to a focus on training in computational and analytic techniques, while for others it may be a greater emphasis on experimental design or technical expertise. Whatever your goals are, I will regularly make sure you are on track to attain them.
Science is hard. It can be filled with big joys and big disappointments, and maintaining mental health is absolutely critical to success. Your mental health should always be a priority and our lab policies will reflect that. All lab members are expected to maintain an open dialogue about how we can all best support each other as a lab.