Christoph Straub

Visiting Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Teaching this semester

BIOL 2588/NEUR 2588. Cell Biology of the Neuron

Neurons are highly specialized cells with unique anatomical and functional properties. Ultimately, those properties reflect the ability of neurons to receive, integrate, and release electrical signals, and thus form the building blocks of neuronal circuits. Explores those unique cell biological properties of neurons, emphasizing structure-function relationships. Focuses on the cell biology of mammalian neurons, and topics include membrane trafficking, cytoskeleton, synapses and synaptic plasticity, lipid signaling, intracellular signaling pathways, as well as comparison of different types of neurons. Includes a weekly lab utilizing cultured mouse neuron in which students will rotate through different experiments.

BIOL 3388/NEUR 3388. Neurobiology of the Synapse

A seminar-style class exploring primary scientific literature focused on the synapse as the fundamental signaling unit of the brain. Focuses on the cell biology, physiology, plasticity, and signal integration of inter-neuronal communication. Topics will also include recent methodological advances in the study of synaptic function. Following short introductory lectures, students will present selected papers and lead discussions.

Education

  • Diploma, Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen-Germany
  • Ph.D., Yale
  • Postdoctoral training, Neurobiology, Harvard Medical School

Research Interests

My scientific interests pertain to the understanding of how individual neurons function, and how the properties of these highly specialized cells enable them to act as basic building blocks of neuronal networks. My long-term objective is to understand how the unique anatomical and biophysical properties of dendrites determine the input-output function of individual cells and microcircuits. Specifically, I am interested in the dendritic integration of synaptic inputs, and synaptically mediated inhibition. To this end, I am using a variety of cell biological, electrophysiological, and optical methods to dissect neuronal signaling on a sub- cellular level.>

Selected Publications

Straub C, Saulnier JL, Begue A, Feng DD, Huang KW, Sabatini BL. Principles of synaptic organization of GABAergic interneurons in the striatum. Neuron. 2016; 92(1): 84-92.

Straub C*, Noam Y*, Nomura T, Yamasaki M, Yan D, Fernandes HB, Zhang P, Howe JR, Watanabe M, Contractor A, Tomita S. Distinct Subunit Domains Govern Synaptic Stability and Specificity of the Kainate Receptor. Cell Rep. 2016 Jul 12;16(2):531- 544.

Gross GG, Straub C, Perez-Sanchez J, Dempsey WP, Junge JA, Roberts RW, Trinh le A, Fraser SE, De Koninck Y, De Koninck P, Sabatini BL, Arnold DB. An E3-ligase-based method for ablating inhibitory synapses. Nat Methods. 2016 Aug;13(8):673-8.

Straub C*, Granger AJ*, Saulnier JL, Sabatini BL. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene knock- down in post-mitotic neurons. PLoS One. 2014 Aug 20;9(8)

Straub C*, Tritsch NX*, Hagan NA, Gu C, Sabatini BL. Multiphasic modulation of cholinergic interneurons by nigrostriatal afferents. J Neurosci. 2014 Jun 18;34(25):8557-69.

Straub C*, Hunt DL*, Yamasaki M, Kim KS, Watanabe M, Castillo PE, Tomita S. Distinct functions of kainate receptors in the brain are determined by the auxiliary subunit Neto1. Nat Neurosci. 2011 May 29;14(7):866-73.

Straub C, Zhang W, Howe JR. Neto2 modulation of kainate receptors with different subunit compositions. J Neurosci. 2011 Jun 1;31(22):8078-82.