Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy

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Nashaat Gerges, PhD
Associate Professor
Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy


PhD, University of Houston, 2002

Department of Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Road
Milwaukee, WI 53226-0509

Phone: (414) 955-4107
FAX: (414) 955-6517
email: ngerges@mcw.edu

List of publications





PhD, University of Houston, 2002
Postdoctoral, University of Michigan

Graduate Programs
Program in Cell and Developmental Biology
Program in Neuroscience

Positions Available
Positions are currently available for PhD students and Postdoctoral Fellows. Please contact Dr. Nashaat Gerges at ngerges@mcw.edu, or visit our Postdoctoral Positions web page.

Research Area: Cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity

Communication between neuronal cells in the brain occurs through tiny contacts called synapses. The ability of these synapses to change their strength and remodel is termed synaptic plasticity, which is thought to be the cellular correlate of learning and memory. Several neurological and neurodegenerative diseases (e.g., Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia and mental retardation) as well as some hormonal and homeostasis abnormalities (e.g., hypothyroidism and stress) have some form of synaptic plasticity malfunction. The research in the laboratory is focused on elucidating the molecular and cellular mechanism of synaptic plasticity, and the associated changes in the disease states.

The major experimental approach is the expression of recombinant neurotransmitter receptors and regulatory proteins tagged with GFP or RFP in organotypic hippocampal cultured slices or in vivo. In order to understand how these regulatory molecules contribute to neuronal function, the lab uses a combination of in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiology, biochemistry, confocal imaging and electron microscopy (EM) analysis.

Gerges picture 1

Electrophysiological whole-cell double recording configuration. Stimulation of Schaffer collateral pathway and simultaneous recording from a control cell and a neuron expressing a regulatory molecule.

Gerges picture 2

Confocal microscopy images for a neuron expressing GluR2-GFP and a regulatory protein tagged with RFP. Immunohistochemistry enables visualizing the surface recombinant receptors (Cy5).

Gerges picture 3

Electron microscopy micrographs of GluR2/3 gold immunolabeling at hippocampal CA1 synapses. * denotes presynaptic terminals; PSD is the postsynaptic density.

Selected Publications

Zhong L, Gerges NZ. Neurogranin targets calmodulin and lowers the threshold for the induction of long-term potentiation. PLoS ONE.

Danielson E, Zhang N, Metallo J, Kaleka K, Shin SM, Gerges N, Lee SH. S-SCAM/MAGI-2 is an essential synaptic scaffolding molecule for the GluA2-containing maintenance pool of AMPA receptors. J Neurosci. 2012 May 16;32(20):6967-80.

Kaleka KS, Petersen AN, Florence MA, Gerges NZ. Pull-down of calmodulin-binding proteins. J Vis Exp. 2012 Jan 23;(59). pii: 3502. doi: 10.3791/3502.

Zhong L, Kaleka KS, Gerges NZ. Neurogranin phosphorylation fine-tunes long-term potentiation. Eur J Neurosci. 2011 Jan;33(2):244-50.

Zhong L, Gerges NZ. Neurogranin and synaptic plasticity balance. Commun Integr Biol. 2010 Jul;3(4):340-2.

Zhong L, Cherry T, Bies CE, Florence MA, Gerges NZ. Neurogranin enhances synaptic strength through its interaction with calmodulin. EMBO J.  2009 Oct 7;28(19):3027-39. Epub 2009 Aug 27

Gerges NZ, DS Backos, CN Rupasinghe, MR Spaller and JA Esteban: Dual role of the exocyst in AMPA receptor targeting and insertion into the postsynaptic membrane. EMBO Journal 25:1623-34, 2006.

Gerges NZ, TC Brown, SS Correia and JA Esteban: Analysis of Rab function in hippocampal neurons. Methods in Enzymology 403:153-166, 2005.

Gerges NZ, DS Backos and JA Esteban: Local control of synaptic function and plasticity at the postsynaptic terminal by a small GTPase of the Rab family. J of Biological Chemistry 279:43870-8, 2004.

Gerges NZ, IC Tran, DS Backos, JM Harrell, M Chinkers, W Pratt and JA Esteban: Independent functions of Hsp90 in neurotransmitter release and in the continuous synaptic cycling of AMPA receptors. J of Neuroscience 24:4758-66, 2004.

Gerges NZ, K Al-Zoubi, C Park, D Diamond KA Alkadhi: Adverse effect of the combination of hypothyroidism and chronic psychosocial stress on hippocampus-dependent memory in rats. Behavioral Brain Research 155:77-84, 2004.

Gerges NZ and KA Alkadhi: Hypothyroidism impairs late LTP in CA1 region but not in DG of intact rat hippocampus: MAPK involvement. Hippocampus 14:40-5, 2004.

Gerges NZ, AM Aleisa, AA Alhaider and KA Alkadhi: Reduction of elevated arterial blood pressure in obese Zucker rats by inhibition of ganglionic long-term potentiation. Neuropharmacology 43:1070-1076, 2002.

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