Richard Sando, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Pharmacology

VKC Member

Overview of Interests

Synapses are fundamental signaling components of the nervous system and mediate trans-neuronal information transfer. Brain functions require the specific, stereotyped establishment of diverse synaptic connections into neural circuitry, and deficits in synaptic circuitry underlie neurological disorders. Increasing evidence supports that bi-directional trans-synaptic signaling by cell adhesion molecules underlies synapse formation, specificity, and the molecular organization of the synaptic compartments. Dr. Sando's laboratory examines the genetic programs underlying synaptic circuit assembly and maintenance in the mammalian central nervous system. They utilize an interdisciplinary approach ranging from cellular and molecular mechanisms, electrophysiology, and imaging to elucidate the networks of synaptic cell adhesion molecules and signal transduction pathways that drive synapse circuit formation.Their studies are directly relevant to the mechanistic basis of numerous neurodevelopmental disorders including ADHD and autism spectrum disorder.