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Peter Serrano
Position: Associate Professor
Campus Affiliation: Hunter College
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph. D., University of California, Berkeley
Training Area: Animal Behavior and Comparative Psychology|Behavioral and Cognitive Neuroscience
Research Interests: Behavioral and molecular neuroscience of stress effects on learning and memory
Research Focus: Neuroscience
My research interest is to understand the signal transduction mechanisms involved when stress significantly alters the morphology of dendritic spines affecting synaptic plasticity, learning and memory.  It is understood that depending on the stress, the effect on memory and learning can be enhanced or impaired.  My lab is specifically interested in how stress can regulate the expression of various synaptically localized proteins that are important for memory, such as protein kinase M zeta.  We use animal models to assess behavioral parameters on memory and learning and use several different molecular and imaging techniques to asses changes in protein expression and spine shape morphology and evaluate synaptic strength using electrophysiology involving long-term potentiation.  My lab has several different projects, which collectively provide a unique perspective on the interaction between several brain regions including the hippocampus, amygdala and frontal cortex as they relate to stress, traumatic brain injury and Alzheimer’s disease.