Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience

Welcome to the Baenziger Lab!

Graduate and 4th year student positions available.


Baenziger Lab, 2016 (Dan Therien, Claire, Camille, Charlotte, Jaimee, Jiayin, Dr. B., Dan Giguere)

The Baenziger lab uses biophysical tools, including structural methods, such as cryo-electron microscopy, and electrophysiological approaches, to elucidate the structures and biological functions of proteins, called pentameric ligand-gated ion channels (pLGICs). These neurotransmitter receptors/ion channels are found in pre-, post-, and non-synaptic membranes of the central and peripheral nervous system where they play a key role in both synaptic communication and information processing.

The lab focuses on nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs), which respond to the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to mediate synaptic or neuromuscular communication.  nAChRs are implicated in neurological and neuromuscular disorders, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, mood disorders, epilepsy, addiction, congenital myasthenic syndromes, myasthenia gravis, etc.  The Baenziger lab strives to understand the mechanisms by which nAChR activity is modulated during both normal and abnormal brain function, with the goal of developing new strategies to correct the altered synaptic/neuromuscular communication that occurs in diseased states.

Left:  Baenziger Lab, 2021 (Toka, Marshall, Deepansh, Dr. B., Mack, Janet, Farid, and Stephanie)

Right:  Baenziger Lab and collaborators at 2022 IUPAB Focused Meeting on Ligand-gated ion channels in Ottawa (Francois, Dr. B., Hugues, Deepansh, Mack, Anna, and Toka)

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