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The Tasker Lab

Department of Cell
and Molecular Biology
2000 Percival Stern Hall
Tulane University
New Orleans, LA 70118

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Current Fundings
Recent Publications

Jeffrey G. Tasker, Ph.D.

Tel: (504) 862-8726
Fax: (504) 865-6785

Research Program

The Neurophysiology of Neuroendocrine Cells of the Hypothalamus
Neuroendocrine systems of the hypothalamus often operate on a cyclic schedule, which is characterized by pulsatile release of hormone. The periodicity of hormone output is governed by the patterns of electrical activity of the individual neurons of a given neuroendocrine population. Bursting patterns of electrical discharge are often responsible for pulsatile hormone output, and several neurophysiological mechanism can contribute to the generation of bursting. Research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding the mechanisms underlying the cyclic outputs of different hypothalamic neuroendocrine systems. Using whole-cell electrophysiological techniques combined with immunohistochemical and in situ hybridization histochemical methods in an acute hypothalamic slice preparation, we are conducting paralell studies to determine how hypothalamic neuroendocrine cells develop patterns of electrical activity and hormone secretion, and how these patterns may influence reproductive and homeostatic behaviors. The specific areas of study in my laboratory are the following:
1. Local inhibitory and excitatory synaptic organization of hypothalamic neurons
2. Cell-specific membrane conductances in hypothalamic neurons
3. Synaptic regulation of hypothalamic neurons:
a. Glutamate modulation
b. Norepinephrine modulation
4. Hormone modulation of hypothalamic neurons:
a. Gonadal steroids
b. Glucocorticoid

Postdoctoral Position

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