Robert Elde, PhD

Professor Emeritus, Department of Neuroscience

Robert Elde

Contact Info

Professor Emeritus, Department of Neuroscience


Research Summary/Interests


Research in my laboratory aims to understand some of the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie neurotransmission. Synaptic neurotransmission is spatially precise and rapid in time course. In contrast, non-synaptic neurotransmission is less focal and is slower. In each case, neurons organize and deliver to the appropriate region of their plasma membrane the molecular machinery required for neurotransmitter packaging and release. Similarly, receptors and signal transduction molecules are delivered to appropriate regions of the plasma membrane of recipient neurons.

We study models that represent each of these forms of neurotransmission. In the case of synaptic neurotransmission we have focused on the neurons that package adenosine triphosphate (ATP) into vesicles and release it to act upon neurons that express the P2X family of ATP-gated ion channels. We investigate non-synaptic neurotransmission through out studies of the packaging and release of the opioid peptides and their action on neurons that express opioid receptors. Our general approach is to generate antibodies that recognize transmitters, receptors, and other molecules involved in neurotransmission, and to use these antibodies to monitor the trafficking of the molecules in question.


For a list of publications, see PubMed.