In the Sweedler research group we work on a broad array of projects that span analytical chemistry and chemical biology to neuroscience and bioengineering.  We conduct research in bioanalytical chemistry and focus on the development of analytical methods for assaying complex microenvironments, including capillary electrophoresis separations, laser-based detectors, MALDI sampling techniques and nanoliter volume NMR. 

In addition to these information-rich approaches, new methodologies based on micro/nanofluidic sampling and single cell isolations are used. Applying these techniques, we examine a range of neurochemical pathways in a variety of organisms. Studies include the distribution, metabolism, and dynamic release of neuropeptides and classical transmitters in a cell-specific manner.  We are especially interested in the roles that such neuromodulatory compounds play in behavior, learning, and memory. 

The development of novel toolsets enables new measurements that drive scientific advances. Just as important is the use of well-chosen animal models that cross the scale of simple to complex. Combining these two areas, we are advancing our understanding about new neurochemical pathways and brain function. You will find web pages on the techniques, the neurochemical pathways, and the models that we study.

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Left: Abdominal ganglion of Aplysia with solid phase extraction beads visible. Both electrical activity (blue) and the resulting peptide mass spectra (orange) are shown.