Biology Seminar: Dr. Cecilia Phillips Toro, “Neurotransmitter Signaling in Zebrafish Sensory Hair Cells”

This Friday's Biology Department Seminar speaker:

Cecilia Phillips Toro, Ph.D.
Sarah Lawrence College Biology Department

“Neurotransmitter Signaling in Zebrafish Sensory Hair Cells

Friday, March 15, 2019
4:10 pm Seminar begins
Biology 19

Student Lunch: Email Kristy Gonyer at if you would like to go to lunch with Dr. Toro on Friday at noon.

Abstract: Decades of research have provided ample evidence of the presence of numerous neurotransmitters in the inner ear, including dopamine and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). However, the sources, targets, and functions of these neurotransmitters have remained unclear. We use the zebrafish lateral line sensory organ to study dopamine and GABA signaling in peripheral auditory and vestibular systems. I will present data that support a model in which these two neurotransmitters play distinct and opposing roles in sensory hair cell circuitry. Our data suggest that efferent neurons release dopamine onto peripheral hair cells, resulting in increased hair cell activity, while GABA is synthesized by hair cells and targets sensory afferents in order to dampen the transmission of sensory information to the brain. Together, these data contribute to our growing understanding of the remarkable complexity of sensory perception.

Additional Biology Department seminars can be found on-line, including links to some speakers' home pages at:

Friday, March 15, 2019 at 4:10pm to 5:00pm

Biology, Biology 19
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199

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Faculty, Students, Alumni, Open to the Public, Parents & Family, Staff, Prospective Students


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