ellis-davies lab

The Ellis-Davies lab takes a multidisciplinary approach to scientific inquiry, combining expertise in chemistry, laser optics and transgenic mice to answer questions in contemporary neurobiology. We are is best known for using synthetic organic chemistry to make caged compounds that have been widely used by physiologists, cell biologists and neuroscientists around the world. For more than twenty years we have pioneered the development of such probes. Over the past decade computer controlled, ultra-fast lasers have become widely available. These Ti:sapphire lasers enable highly localized excitation of chromophores in living tissue such that small subcellular regions can be pinpointed for imaging or photoactivation. Current research in the Ellis-Davies lab is concerned with using these lasers in two areas of neurobiology. First, we are developing new caged compounds that are designed for two-photon photolysis. In particular we are interested in multimodal optical control and capture of physiological processes using dual color, two-photon uncaging. A second line of research uses fluorescence imaging of cellular function and structure in living mice. Such imaging allows us to understand how, for example, calcium signals in astrocytes, neuronal integrity during Familial Alzheimer’s disease or dendritic spine density change during learning and/or disease progression.


Graham Ellis-Davies, PhD

My lab uses organic chemistry to develop new optical methods for cell physiology.

j Neuroscience Wavelength-Selective One- and Two-Photon Uncaging of GABA
J.M. Amatrudo, J.P. Olson, G. Lur, C.Q. Chiu, M.J. Higley, and G.C.R. Ellis-Davies
ACS Chemical neuroscience (2014), 5, 64-70.
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