Research/Areas of Interest: Our laboratory studies cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic neurotransmission in the midbrain and its catecholaminergic projections because of our interest in the neurochemistry and molecular biology of catecholamine-related disorders. The current focus is on the study of the plasticity of CNS catecholamine quantal size as it relates to normal function and the pathogenesis, development and symptoms of feeding/body weight disorders (like dietary obesity), drug addiction, psychotic disorders and movement disorders (like Parkinson's disease). Contrary to previous dogmas, quantal size (the amount of neurotransmitter released per vesicle during exocytosis) is not invariant in CNS catecholamine systems and offers us the opportunity to pharmacologically intervene at the presynaptic level in order to block or inhibit a catecholamine-related abnormality.

Education

  • Doctor of Philosophy, Princeton University, Princeton, United States, 1994
  • Master of Arts, Princeton University, Princeton, United States, 1990
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Athens, Athens, Greece, 1988