october, 2017

24oct1:00 pm2:00 pmSignals in space: Modelling postsynaptic biochemistryDr Melanie Stefan


Event Details



Learning and memory rely on changes in the strength of synapses (synaptic plasticity). In some areas of the brain such as the hippocampus, synapses terminate on specialised cellular compartments called dendritic spines. Synaptic plasticity involves activity in the biochemical signalling networks within those spines, as well as changes in spine shape and size. There is an interesting interdependence between chemical regulation and space: The localisation of a protein within the spine determines its chemical function, because it determines access to modifiers, binding partners, substrates and molecular competitors. At the same time, chemical modification of proteins can change their subcellular localisation and even the structure of the spine itself. The Stefan Lab at the University of Edinburgh works on using computational modelling to understand learning and memory, with a special interest in how chemical signalling and subcellular space interact with each other. I will present some of our recent results in this area.

Dr Melanie Stefan is a Lecturer at Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences. Her research lab is affiliated with the Centre for Integrative Physiology and with the Patrick Wild Centre for Research into Autism, Fragile X Syndrome and Intellectual Disabilities at the University of Edinburgh. Her research interests revolve around using computers to understand learning and memory, from simulating how proteins in the brain work together to strengthen the connection between neurons to using educational data to understand how students learn.

If you would like to speak to Melanie please contact Carolin Kosiol

Dr Melanie Stefan’s website


(Tuesday) 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Dyer's Brae Seminar Room

Dyers Brae, School of Biology, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Greenside Place, Fife, KY16 9TH, UK


Carolin Kosiol, Shoko Sugasawa, & Nora Carlsonck202@st-andrews.ac.uk, ss244@st-andrews.ac.uk, nc54@st-andrews.ac.uk Dyers Brae, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9TH, UK