Our studies seek to understand how neurons and glial cells interact to enable proper development of the nervous system, homeostasis of mature circuits and how disruption of these interactions contribute to disease. Three current areas of emphasis involve: 1) investigation of auditory system development, 2) the function of Ca2+ signaling in astrocytes, and 3) the dynamics of oligodendroglia (oligodendrocytes and their progenitors) in the healthy CNS and in neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In the auditory system we are exploring how glial-like supporting cells in the cochlea initiate spontaneous bursts of neural activity before hearing onset and the functional significance of this activity for the maturation of central auditory centers. Our studies of astrocytes involve generation of new tools to monitor and manipulate astrocytes in vivo (e.g. conditional membrane anchored GCaMP3/GCaMP6s mice and fiber optic imaging in freely moving animals) to define the behavioral contexts during which astrocytes are activated and the consequences of this activity for support and modulation of neural circuits. Our studies of oligodendroglia seek to define the role of oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPCs, also known as NG2+ cells) in the adult CNS and the dynamics of myelinating oligodendrocytes during learning and demyelinating disease.
Specialization: Neuron-glial cell interactions
Dr. Dwight Bergles is a Professor in The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Otolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery. He is the Director of the Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute.
To advance neuroscience discovery by uniting neuroscience, engineering and computational data science to understand the structure and function of the brain.