ANDRES VILLU MARICQ portrait
  • Founding Director, Center for Cell and Genome Science, College Of Science
  • Adjunct Professor, Biology
  • Professor, Neurobiology & Anatomy Labs

Research Statement

My research explores the molecular machinery that contributes to the information-processing capabilities of the nervous system, with a focus on the regulation and function of synaptic transmission. I use an interdisciplinary approach to address research questions, drawing upon my training and experience in biochemistry, molecular biology, cell biology, electrophysiology, biophysics and genetics. We have focused on the molecular machinery that contributes to the establishment and function of synapses in the model organism C. elegans. In studies of cholinergic synapses, we have identified components of a conserved Wnt-signaling pathway that regulates the translocation, and thus number, of nicotinic acetylcholine receptors. In studies of glutamatergic synapses, we have identified evolutionarily conserved auxiliary proteins that contribute to the function of ionotropic glutamate receptors (AMPARs), leading to a new concept of an AMPAR signaling complex. In addition, we study the trafficking and transport of AMPARs, and have found that kinesin-1 microtubules-dependent motors have a fundamental role in the delivery, removal and redistribution of synaptic AMPARs. In summary, my research explores the molecular machinery that contributes to synaptic function, communication between neurons, and neuronal circuits. 

Research Keywords

  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Neuroscience

Presentations

  • Brain Research Centre, University of British Columbia. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 11/2015.
  • Carnegie Mellon University, PA. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/2015.
  • Society for Neuroscience 2015 Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 10/2015.
  • Symposium 10 (Synaptic Plasticity) of the International Society for Neurochemistry 2015 Biennial Meeting, Cairns, Australia. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/2015.
  • From Synapses to Circuits and Behavior, satellite meeting of the International Society for Neurochemistry 2015 Biennial Meeting, Cairns, Australia. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 08/2015.
  • Cold Spring Harbor Asia Francis Crick Symposium: Advances in Neuroscience, Suzhou, China. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 07/2015.
  • Excitatory Synapses and Brain Function, 2015 Gordon Research Conference. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 06/2015.
  • The Modulation of Neural Circuits and Behavior, 2015 Gordon Research Conference (new), Hong Kong (Co-Chair). Other, Presented, 06/2015.
  • The Long and Winding Road: Neuronal Trafficking in Physiology and Disease, HHMI Janelia Research Campus, VA. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 05/2015.
  • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 03/2015.
  • Winter Conference on Brain Research, Big Sky, MT. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/2015.
  • NYU Neuroscience Institute and NYU Center for Neural Science. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/2015.
  • HHMI Janelia Research Campus, VA. Invited Talk/Keynote, Presented, 01/2015.

Research Groups

  • Ning Lei, Research Professor. 08/2012 - present.
  • Angy Kallarackal, Postdoc. 01/2012 - present.
  • Frederic Horndli, Postdoc. Biology. 03/2007 - present.
  • Jerry Mellem, Research Professor. Biology. 03/2007 - present.
  • Penelope Brockie, Research Professor. Biology. 04/2004 - present.
  • David Madsen, Senior Associate. Biology. 05/1996 - present.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Glutamate-mediated neurotransmission and the control of behavior. PI: Andres V. Maricq. 09/01/2015 - 08/31/2020. Total project budget to date: $0.00
  • Analysis of Glutamate Receptor Function. PI: Andres V. Maricq. 09/15/2014 - 07/31/2019. Total project budget to date: $0.00
  • Simultaneous in vivo studies of synapses, neurons, and learning and memory. PI: Andres V. Maricq. 09/30/2010 - 07/31/2016. Total project budget to date: $0.00

Languages

  • English, fluent.
  • Estonian, fluent.
  • French, basic.
  • German, basic.

Publications

  • Hoerndli, F.J., A.J. Kallarackal and A.V. Maricq (2015) Mobile AMPARs are required for synaptic plasticity. Channels 9:230-32. Published, 05/2015.
  • Hoerndli, F.J., R. Wang, J.E. Mellem, A.J. Kallarackal, P.J. Brockie, C. Thacker, D.M. Madsen and A.V. Maricq (2015) Neuronal activity and CaMKII regulate kinesin-mediated transport of synaptic AMPARs. Neuron 86:457-74. Published, 02/2015.