Erik Jorgensen studies the molecular mechanisms of synaptic function. Genetic screens and characterization are performed in the nematode C. elegans and then validated in rodents. In addition, his laboratory is developing methods for optimizing genetic screens and manipulating the genome of the worm.
His laboratory dissects synaptic function in the simplest organism with a well-defined nervous system – the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans. The group identifies mutant worms with defects in synaptic proteins by forward genetic screens for worm mutants with behavioral defects or generates directed mutations in known synaptic genes. Then they use biochemistry, electrophysiology, fluorescence microscopy and electron microscopy to examine the role of the protein in the synapse from as many angles possible. Based on inferences from the mutant phenotype, they develop a hypothesis for how the protein functions. Predictions for structural variants are made from these models and tested in transgenic animals. These results can be used as a springboard for studies in other systems, linking biochemical models of protein function and studies of the vertebrate brain.
Work in the Jorgensen laboratory can be classified into four categories: neurotransmitters, exocytosis, endocytosis, and genome editing.
Erik M. Jorgensen Lecture I on Synaptic Transmission provided by iBiology February 7, 2017
Erik M. Jorgensen Lecture II on Recycling Synaptic Vesicles: Ultrafast Endocytosis provided by iBiology February 7, 2017
Hans Ris Seminar Series
Professor Hans Ris (1914-2004) University of Wisconsin-Madison
Professor of Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison (1949-2004)
Director of IMR and LOCI (1984-2004)
Founder of American Society of Cell Biology 1960
National Academy of Sciences 1974
E.B. Wilson Award 1993
The Hans Ris Seminar Series honors American cytologist and pioneer electron microscopist Dr. Hans Ris (1914-2004), Director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Integrated Microscopy Resource (IMR) from 1969 until 1984. Ris oversaw the installation of one of the nation's first high-voltage electron microscopes while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The microscope was housed at LOCI, formerly the High Voltage Electron Microscope Facility. Ris's studies of chromosome structure revealed the importance of non-histone proteins, and alongside colleague Lynn Margulis, Ris was one of the first to recognize that blue-green algae were a type of bacteria. Ris was a founding member of the American Society of Cell Biology and received the Distinguished Scientist Award by the Microscopy Society of America in 1983. Ris remained Emeritus Investigator of the IMR until his death in 2004, and is remembered for the integrity of his scientific career by his colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his dedication as a husband and father by his family.
Hans Ris Seminar Series Featured Speakers:
2017: Erik M. Jorgensen, The University of Utah, Howard Hughes Medical Institute
2016: David Hall, Albert Einstein College
2015: Kent McDonald, UC Berkeley
2014: Wah Chiu, Baylor College of Medicine
2013: Thomas Müller-Reichert, Technische Universität Dresden
2012: Mark E. Ellisman, UC San Diego