Gentry Patrick, PhD
Professor of Neurobiology,
University of California San Diego
The accurate trafficking of AMPA-type glutamate receptors (AMPARs) to and from the synapse underlie various forms of synaptic plasticity and is a critical component of learning and memory in the brain, while altered AMPAR trafficking is hypothesized to promote synapse dysfunction observed in neurological and neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Several years ago, my lab discovered that mammalian AMPARs are modified by ubiquitin which regulates their internalization and endocytic sorting to lysosomes for degradation. Over the years, we have begun to tease apart the molecular mechanisms and neuronal activity-dependent rules which control AMPAR ubiquitination and turnover in dendrites and at synapses. In addition, we recently discovered that the position of lysosomes in dendrites can be regulated by synaptic activity and thus plays an instructive role in the turnover of synaptic membrane proteins including AMPARs. I plan to discuss these and other recent work, which contribute to our understanding of AMPAR trafficking and turnover in health and disease.
Dr. Patrick is a Professor in the Neurobiology Section of the Division of Biological Sciences at the University of California at San Diego. His lab studies the role of protein turnover in synaptic plasticity and neurodegenerative disease. He additionally is the Director of Mentorship and Diversity for the Division of Biological Sciences at UC San Diego. Dr. Patrick was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles (where he attended King/Drew Medical Magnet high school in Watts, CA). Dr. Patrick received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1999 after working in the laboratory of Dr. Li-Huei Tsai. He was a Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation and a United Negro College Fund/Merck postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Erin Schuman at California Institute of Technology. Dr. Patrick joined the UCSD faculty in 2004.