What we do: We answer both applied and basic questions about how the nervous system helps animals survive in their environments. On the applied side, we study animals that evolved ways to avoid damage to the nervous system. We focus most of our efforts on challenges to the nervous system that tend to be big problems in many human diseases. These include inactivity of neuromuscular systems (think, “if you don’t use it you lose it”) and impaired oxygen transport (think, brain damage in stroke and cardiac arrest). By learning from animals that already “know” how to get around these problems, we up our chances of finding new solutions. On the basic side, we use this approach to make new discoveries about how nervous systems use plasticity to help animals adapt to their environments. To do this, we take fundamental concepts about plasticity that were developed outside of real-life contexts (e.g., cell culture, lab settings, modeling, etc.) and test how they work in situations where animals may need them to survive. This allows us to put together new ideas about how these processes are important for behavior and why they may have evolved.

How we do it: We tend to ask questions using the neural system that regulates breathing in amphibians for two reasons. First, breathing is a tractable, rhythmic behavior that is easily studied across scales of organization (genes to proteins to cells to networks to behavior) compared to other behaviors like learning and memory. Second, amphibians have interesting life history traits that allow us to ask questions about how different forms of plasticity have adaptive importance in nature. On the technical side, we use an integrative approach that spans whole animal behavior down to the molecular biology of single neurons. We use a range of tools that include patch-clamp electrophysiology to study electrical properties of neurons, single-cell quantitative PCR and RNA sequencing to assess gene expression in individual neurons, in vivo measurements of behavior (measurements of breathing and EMG to record muscle activity), extracellular recording to measure circuit activity, and fluorescence imaging microscopy.

Interests
Cellular neuroscience, comparative neurobiology, electrophysiology

Education
Ph.D., Wright State University


Research:
What we do: We answer both applied and basic questions about how the nervous system helps animals survive in their environments. On the applied side, we study animals that evolved ways to avoid damage to the nervous system. We focus most of our efforts on challenges to the nervous system that tend to be big problems in many human diseases. These include inactivity of neuromuscular systems (think, “if you don’t use it you lose it”) and impaired oxygen transport (think, brain damage in stroke and cardiac arrest). By learning from animals that already “know” how to get around these problems, we up our chances of finding new solutions. On the basic side, we use this approach to make new discoveries about how nervous systems use plasticity to help animals adapt to their environments. To do this, we take fundamental concepts about plasticity that were developed outside of real-life contexts (e.g., cell culture, lab settings, modeling, etc.) and test how they work in situations where animals may need them to survive. This allows us to put together new ideas about how these processes are important for behavior and why they may have evolved.

Recent Publications:
Adams, S., Zubov, T., Bueschke, N., & Santin, J. M. Neuromodulation or energy failure? Metabolic limitations silence network output in the hypoxic amphibian brainstem. American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2020. In press. doi.org/10.1152/ajpregu.00209.2020

Burton, M. T., & Santin, J.M. A direct excitatory action of lactate ions in the central respiratory network. 2020. Journal of Experimental Biology. In press. doi: 10.1242/jeb.235705
Northcutt, N.J., Kick, D.R., Otopalik, A.G., Goetz, B.M., Harris, R.M., Santin, J.M., Hoffman, H.A., Marder, E., Schulz, D.J. Molecular profiling of single neurons of known identity in two ganglia from the crab Cancer borealis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2019. doi: https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1911413116

Santin, J.M. Motor inactivity in hibernating frogs: Linking plasticity that stabilizes neuronal function to behavior in the natural environment. Developmental Neurobiology. 2019, in press doi: https://doi.org/10.1002/dneu.22721

No Clipping

Title

Cited By

Year

No Pitches / Articles Found

No Quotes

Available for logged-in users onlyLogin HereorRegister

No Video

close
0.07371