Christoph Straub

Visiting Assistant Professor of Neuroscience

Teaching this semester

BIOL 1080. Mechanisms of Neurological Disorders

Neurological disorders—such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, or autism—are on the rise as human life expectancy increases. First addresses the clinical manifestation of different neurological disorders, and then explores the underlying affected brain regions focusing on how dysfunctions in biological mechanisms lead to disease. Also includes discussions on treatment options and ethical aspects of neurological disorders.

BIOL 2553/NEUR 2553. Neurophysiology

A comparative study of the function of the nervous system in invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Topics include the mechanism that underlie both action potentials and patterns of spontaneous activity in individual nerve cells, interactions between neurons, and the organization of neurons into larger functional units. Lectures and four hours of laboratory work per week.


  • 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.