phone: (310) 206-9972
office: 2506C Gonda (Goldschmied) Center
research interests: Biology of Learning and Memory
My laboratory is interested in the cell biology of learning and memory in simple organisms. In our research we use two animals, the marine snail Aplysia californica, and the zebrafish (Danio rerio). Work on Aplysia: This invertebrate has a comparatively simple nervous system (~ 20,000 neurons) that provides a valuable experimental model for understanding the cellular mechanisms that underlie simple forms of learning, such as habituation, sensitization, and classical conditioning. Another experimental advantage of Aplysia is that sensory and motor neurons that mediate specific reflexes of the animal can be placed into dissociated cell culture where they will reform their synaptic connections. These in vitro sensorimotor synapses are extremely useful for cellular and molecular studies of short- and long-term learning-related synaptic plasticity. Currently, my laboratory is investigating the mechanisms that underlie the persistence of memory: how are memories maintained in our brains over long periods of time? Two phenomena related to memory persistence that have attracted significant interest in recent years are memory reconsolidation and memory erasure. Regarding memory reconsolidation, it has been found that when a long-term memory is reactivated through a reminder stimulus the memory becomes temporarily labile; during this period the memory can be disrupted by various treatments, such as protein synthesis inhibition, until it reconsolidates and is once more stable. Memories can also be disrupted if a specific kinase, known as PKM, is inhibited. This suggests that the ongoing activity of PKM is important for the maintenance of some forms of long-term memory. Currently, we are using Aplysia to try to unravel the mechanisms that underlie memory reconsolidation and memory erasure. Also, we have recently discovered that DNA methylation plays a critical role in both the consolidation and maintenance of long-term memory. These studies should provide insights into how memories persist. In addition, they may facilitate treatments for such disorders of memory as Alzheimer's disease and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Work on the zebrafish: The zebrafish has significant advantages for genetic and molecular studies of behavior, including studies of learning and memory. The zebrafish is amenable to both forwards and reverse genetics. Furthermore, although it is a vertebrate with a complex vertebrate nervous system, it possesses reflexive behaviors that are mediated by relatively simple neural circuits in the spinal cord and brainstem. Finally, zebrafish larvae are transparent, which facilitates the use of optogenetics and advanced imaging techniques to study learning-related neural activity within the intact animal. We study the neural basis of nonassociative and associative behavioral modification of the startle reflex in zebrafish larvae. In addition, we are investigating olfactory-based learning in these organisms.
Interesting discussion of our recent eLife paper in Discover: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/neuroskeptic/2014/12/27/synapse-memory-doctrine-threatened/#.VNAEAUKBujA
Another article about our eLife paper in Scientific American: http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/journal/v312/n4/pdf/scientificamerican0415-14.pdf
Article on my research in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/23/neuroscience-memory-_n_6366588.html
TEDx talk on long-term memory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLp6PUPqscs
NSN Short A Memorable Snail NOVA Vodcast published 08-21-2009 13:00:00
Video interview on learning and consciousness (scroll down for David Glanzman video)
Audio interview in The DNA Files show "Minding the Brain"
Interview in the online news source "The Mark" (May 19, 2011): http://www.themarknews.com/articles/5222-eternal-sunshine-is-just-around-the-corner?page=1
Article on my research in the May 10, 2011, issue of "The Atlantic": http://www.theatlantic.com/life/archive/2011/05/even-if-we-could-erase-bad-memories-should-we/238444/
Bedecarrats, A. Chen, S. Pearce, K. Cai, D. Glanzman, D. L., "RNA from trained Aplysia can induce an epigenetic engram for long-term sensitization in untrained Aplysia", eNeuro, 5 (3): (2018) [link].
Lay, B. P. P. Westbrook, R. F. Glanzman, D. L. Holmes, N. M., "Commonalities and differences in the substrates underlying consolidation of first- and second-order conditioned fear", J. Neurosci, 38 (8): 1926-1941 (2018) [link].
Pearce, K. Cai, D. Roberts, A. C. Glanzman, D. L., "Role of protein synthesis and DNA methylation in the consolidation and maintenance of long-term memory in Aplysia", eLife, 6 : (2017) [link].
Hochner, B. Glanzman, D. L., "Evolution of highly diverse forms of behavior in mollusks", Current Biology, 26 (20): R965-R971 (2016) [link].
Chen, S., Cai, D., Pearce, K., Sun, P.Y., Roberts, A.C., Glanzman, D.L.,, "Reinstatement of long-term memory following erasure of its behavioral and synaptic expression in Aplysia", eLife, (2014) [link].
Roberts, A.C., Bill, B.R., and Glanzman, D.L., "Learning and memory in zebrafish larvae", Front. Neural Circuits, (2013) [link].
Crystal, J.D., and Glanzman, D.L., "A biological perspective on memory", Current Biology, 23 (17): R728-R731 (2013) [link].
Glanzman, D. L., "David L. Glanzman", Curr. Biol, 22 (21): R895-R897 (2012) [link].
Bougie, J.K., Cai, D., Hastings, M., Farah, C.A., Chen, S., Fan, X., McCamphill, P.K., Glanzman, D.L., and Sossin, W.S., "Serotonin-induced cleavage of the atypical protein kinase C III in Aplysia", J. Neurosci, 32 (42): 14630-14640 (2012) [link].
Cai, D., Pearce, K., Chen, S. and Glanzman, D. L., "Reconsolidation of long-term memory in Aplysia", Current Biology, 22 (19): 1783-1788 (2012) [link].