Welcome to the Aoki Lab homepage!
We are a neuroscience lab at NYU that seeks out neural correlates of disease at the molecular level. We do this by studying changes in the brain’s synaptic connections, structural morphology, and protein expression that occur as a result of stress. We use the electron microscope to understand the differential expression of specific neurotransmitter receptors in brain regions that are known to play a role in the modulation of stress. Additionally, we use various light microscopy techniques to examine changes that happen on a larger scale in these same areas. Our regions of interest primarily include the dorsal and ventral hippocampi, prefrontal cortex, and amygdala. We are most interested in critical stages of development that are particularly vulnerable to stress. Some of the diseases we have focused on have been Anorexia Nervosa, Ischemia, childhood abuse, social isolation, Alzheimer’s and many more.
The animal model of stress that we use is called Activity Based Anorexia or ABA. More information on this method can be found here.