Dr. Marco Prado
(Joint Appointment with the Department of Physiology & Pharmacology and Robarts Research Institute)
Communication between cells is the major business of the nervous system. We are interested in how neuronal communication can be manipulated to treat or prevent neurological and cardiovascular disorders. To achieve this goal we use a combination of molecular, cellular, pharmacological and behavioral approaches, as well as genetically modified mice, to understand how chemical messengers regulate many distinct physiological programs. Of particular interest to us is the role of cholinergic synapses, that release the chemical mediator acetylcholine, in Alzheimer’s disease and in learning and memory. We are also interested in how cholinergic neurotransmission in the peripheral nervous system may be targeted to improve cardiac dysfunction. Finally, we have a strong research program aimed to understand transmissible spongiform encephalopathy, or prion diseases, such as “mad cow disease”. A long-term objective of my research program is to discover ways to manipulate chemical communication to provide novel pharmacological targets to treat these diseases.
For publications, please visit Dr. Prado's Google Scholar page.