• Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
  • Adjunct Professor, Human Genetics
  • Adjunct Professor, Biomedical Engineering
  • Distinguished Professor, School Of Biological Sciences

Research Statement

The Jorgensen laboratory is identifying the proteins that function at the synapse to release and recycle synaptic vesicles. To identify these molecules, we have undertaken a genetic analysis of neurotransmission in the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. C. elegans is particularly advantageous for such studies for several reasons: First, mutants with defective synapses are viable and can be studied as adults. Second, we can select for mutants with defective neurotransmission using drug resistance screens. Third, we can characterize mutant synapses at the ultrastructural and electrophysiological levels. So far the lab has identified over 30 genes that are required for normal synaptic transmission. Some of these genes are required for synaptic vesicle exocytosis and some are required for synaptic vesicle endocytosis. The precise function of these proteins is being determined using electophysiological, biochemical, fluorescence and electron microscopic techniques.


Software Titles

  • ApE, A plasmid Editor, updated review. A free, multi-platform application for visualizing, designing, and presenting biologically relevant DNA sequences. ApE provides a flexible framework for annotating a sequence manually or using a user-defined library of features. It is available for Mac, PC, and Linux-based platforms and can be downloaded at Original Release Date: 01/2005. Release Date: 02/2022. Inventors: M. Wayne Davis & E.M. Jorgensen. Distribution List: Available to the public from the Jorgensen lab website.
  • SapTrap Builder. A desktop utility for CRISPR edit design. Release Date: 01/2016. Inventors: M.L. Schwartz & E.M. Jorgensen.