Welcome to the Ford Lab
We are in the Pharmacology Department at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.
Our lab examines the neuronal mechanisms by which G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) mediate synaptic transmission in the mesolimbic and nigrostriatal systems. Neuromodulators such as dopamine, acetylcholine and serotonin play key roles in controlling a variety of motivated behaviors including decision-making, action selection, motor skill learning, habit formation and reward processing. We use the combination of electrophysiology, 2-photon imaging, optogenetics and electrochemisty to study how the synaptic release of these transmitters becomes encoded within mesolimbic and nigrostriatal circuits through their GPCRs. By identifying the mechanisms regulating metobotropic transmission we aim to identify the disruptions in these system that are thought to underlie psychiatric disorders such as drug addiction and schizophrenia.