Harbinder S. Dhillon, PhD
Associate Professor, Neuroscience
Department of Biological Sciences
Delaware State University

Insights into the molecular and cellular basis of learning and memory are particularly important in understanding the neural functional design and control of behavior, as well as in pathological states. My students and I are using a reductionist approach to understand behavior. A number of invertebrate models including Drosophila melanogaster and Caenorhabditis elegans have helped define some of the basic biological substrates of behavior. Specific neurotransmitters, their receptors and ion channels localized to synaptic termini play important roles in the functioning of the nervous system. Modulatory effects of neurotransmitters such as dopamine and glutamate are known to play key roles in a variety of behavioral processes including learned behaviors such as movement control, in vertebrates as well as invertebrates. Both these neurotransmitters are also implicated in Parkinson’s disease, which is characterized by a loss of control over movement. Our lab uses the C. elegans model to study the modulation of neurotransmitter release, and the interplay between dopamine and glutamate, using molecular, behavioral and imaging based approaches. This basic research is not only intrinsically interesting but will also be valuable to researchers interested in pin-pointing specific causes of disease and identifying targeted pharmacological therapy.

Dhillon CV
Dhillon Center-Funded Research
Return to previous page
Return to Home Page