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The Blakely Lab at Florida Atlantic University

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c-fos labelling showing neuronal activation on a whole mouse brain. After immunolabelling and tissue clearing, brain was scanned on the Blaze Light Sheet Ultramicroscope. Credits: Lorena Areal, Paula Kurdziel and Jana Strickler.

Research in the Blakely laboratory is focused on how presynaptic plasma membrane transporter proteins support chemical signaling in the nervous system, how they mediate the entry of transmitter-like neurotoxins into neurons, and whether altered signaling in disease states is supported by genetic variations in transporter structure. Over the past decade, we have been actively involved in the molecular cloning of transporter genes, including the identification of transporters for norepinephrine, epinephrine, serotonin, dopamine, proline, creatine, and choline. Using modern techniques in molecular biology, biochemistry, imaging, and genetics, we apply a multi-disciplinary approach to understand how transporters are organized in the plasma membrane, how they recognize their substrates, how they are regulated, and whether defects in their activity, trafficking, or regulation contribute to altered behavior and physiology.

  Lab and Institute News

Congrats to Hannah Phelps who completed her BS degree in Biological Sciences through the FAU-Max Planck Honors Program, successfully defending her thesis entitled Impact of an Autism and ADHD Associated Mutation in the Dopamine Transporter on in vivo Dopamine Release Arising from a Naturalistic Reward, working with Dr. Felix Mayer.

Congrats to Tiffany Zhang, who completed her B.S. degree in Cellular Neuroscience at the Wilkes Honors College and in the Max Planck Honors Program. Read More

Congrats to Vuong Tran, for completion of his B.S. in Biology from the Wilkes Honors College, pursuing studies of synaptic plasticity in the brain of the DAT Val559 mouse model of ADHD/Autism/BPD. Read More

FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute
April 7, 2021

Mutant mice are providing a new neurobiological framework to understand the brain changes seen in distractible humans who carry a common gene variant associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute
December 17, 2021

FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute announced today it has received $1 million from the Palm Health Foundation to launch and support its new Program in Computational Brain Science and Health (PCBSH).


Randy Blakely
Randy D. Blakely, Ph.D.
Executive Director
FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute
David J.S. Nicholson Distinguished Professor in Neuroscience,
Professor, Dept Biomedical Science
Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine

Updated 6/27/2022