A Molecule for Remembrance — Part I, LTP and PKMzeta

I count myself very lucky in my science career, because I have been on a team that figured out one of the fundamental questions in life: how are memories made? The short answer to this question is that we make memories by making a protein, protein kinase Mzeta (PKMzeta), and here is an oversimplified version … Continue reading


Ketamine, a New Treatment for Depression?

Ketamine made news lately for the good it could do. In a study of fourteen patients, after infusion of ketamine, half of them stopped thinking about suicide, even though some of them were still depressed. More recently, a group of scientists found that ketamine works to relieve depression symptoms in mice. But who cares about … Continue reading

Trust Issue

I work in a neuroscience lab, doing basic research, trying to figure out how we remember things, in the loosest sense of it. I’ve learnt that to be scientific means to be very specific. As I am not going to talk about science today, I’d like the liberty of not talking like one.  Anyway, the … Continue reading

Good for the Brain, Good for the Soul

I am talking about exercises. It’s a known fact that workout is good for, well, pretty much everything, except, maybe, joints when overdone. Here I am specifically talking about the brain. So I just came across this behavioral study done on mice that were Alzheimer’s disease model mice, and the study concluded carefully that, if given physical … Continue reading


Well, I was doing some literature review/research, and found a review of genetics and psychiatric disorder. It’s known that a lot of mental/neurological problems are inherent, so of course I want to know which genes are related to what problem. What I didn’t expect is to find that nicotine addiction and alcohol addiction count as … Continue reading

Put Things into Perspective

I am doing a literature review of our protein of interest, PKMzeta. I have been studying the function of the kinase for nearly 10 years, and most of what I know and care to know about the protein is how it is moving receptors into synapses and keeping them there so as to make lasting … Continue reading


I guess everybody has heard that probably not true story of how Goodyear discovered a process to make natural rubber long-lasting: dropping some nitric acid by accident on some of his rubber samples, which turned it black and durable. This kind of lucky accident have played, and I think will always play an important role … Continue reading

Engineering is Hard

Our fall seminar series starts again, finally. The first one is a report of a translational study. Translational research is a general term that describes any research whose goal is a feasible treatment for a disease. This one is about treating epilepsy with electrode implants in the brain (pretty deep in the brain at that) that … Continue reading

E-Phys 101: Channels

E-Phys is the short/nickname for eletrophysiology, which is my field of study. This piece is inspired by darling hubby. I was explaining my project to him the other day, and came to the shocking realization that huh, everybody really doesn’t know what I thought everybody knows already. So here is some basics about electrophysiology and … Continue reading