Samuel M. Kunes, Ph.D.

Title
Professor
Department
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
Institution
Harvard University
Address
BL 2011
The Biological Labs, 16 Divinity Ave
City, State, Zip
Cambridge, MA 2138
Phone
(617) 496-3806
E-mail
kunes[at]fas.harvard.edu
Website
http://www.mcb.harvard.edu/Faculty/faculty_profile.php?f=sam-kunes
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
1994

Research

Current research in the laboratory includes a study of how a signaling protein, Hedgehog, is transported along axons of the developing visual system, a means by which the retina controls the number of target neurons for retinal axons in the brain. We study the converse problem of how contact between photoreceptor axons and their targets in the brain influences the final stages of photoreceptor neuronal differentiation, including the development of synapses. Another investigation in the laboratory asks how visual experience is remembered. The aim of this project is to determine where and how such memories are encoded. Another study looks at how a protein involved in synaptic plasticity is synthesized locally in response to environmental inputs that produce a memory. A long-term goal of our work is to identify genetic differences that underlie behavioral changes associated with speciation, and relate these to developmental and functional differences in the nervous system.