Eve Marder

Eve Marder, Professor of Biology at Brandeis UniversityUniversity Professor
Victor and Gwendolyn Beinfield Professor of Biology
Member, U.S. National Academy of Sciences

Research Description

Modulation of Neural Networks

One of the fundamental problems in neuroscience is understanding how circuit function arises from the intrinsic properties of individual neurons and their synaptic connections. Of particular interest to us today is the extent to which similar circuit outputs can be generated by multiple mechanisms, both in different individual animals, or in the same animal over its life-time. As an experimental preparation we exploit the advantages of the central pattern generating circuits in the crustacean stomatogastric nervous system. Central pattern generators are groups of neurons found in vertebrate and invertebrate nervous systems responsible for the generation of specific rhythmic behaviors such as walking, swimming, and breathing. The central pattern generators in the stomatogastric ganglion (STG) of lobsters and crabs are ideal for many analyses because the STG has only about 30 large neurons, the connectivity is established, the neurons are easy to record from, and when the stomatogastric ganglion is removed from the animal, it continues to produce rhythmic motor patterns.

Work in the lab centers on three main questions:

  1. How do neuromodulators and neuromodulatory neurons reconfigure circuits so that the same group of neurons can produce a variety of behaviorally relevant outputs?
  2. How can networks be both stable over the lifetime of the animal despite ongoing turnover of membrane proteins such as channels and receptors? How is network stability maintained over long time periods? To what extent do similar network outputs result from different underlying mechanisms or solutions?.
  3. How variable are the sets of parameters that govern circuit function across animals? How can animals with disparate sets of circuit parameters respond reliably to perturbations such as neuromodulators and temperature?

To address these questions we employ electrophysiological, biophysical, computational, anatomical, biochemical, and molecular techniques.

Selected Publications

  • Bronk, P., Kuklin, E.A., Gorur-Shandilya, S., Liu, C., Wiggin, T.D., Marder, E., and Griffith, L.C. (2018) Regulation of Eag by calcium/calmodulin controls presynaptic excitability in DrosophilaJ. Neurophysiol., 119: 1665-1680. PMCID: PMC6008097.

  • Ori, H., Marder, E. and Marom, S. (2018) Cellular function given parameter variation in the Hodgkin-Huxley model. Proc Natl Acad Sci (USA), 115: E8211-E8218. doi.org/10.1073/pnas.180855115. PubMed Central PMCID: PMC6126753.

  • Rosenbaum P, Marder E. Graded transmission without action potentials sustains rhythmic activity in some but not all modulators that activate the same current. J. Neurosci. 38: 8976-8988.

  • Haddad, S.A. and Marder, E. (2018) Circuit robustness to temperature perturbation is altered by neuromodulators. Neuron, 100:. 2018 Sep 18. pii: S0896-6273(18)30740-2. 

  • Marder, Eve (2018) Autobiography. In: The History of Neuroscience in Autobiography, Society for Neuroscience,Volume 10, Albright, T.D.and Squire, L.R., eds. pages 420-455.

  • Marder, Eve (2018) Foreward. In: Lessons from the Lobster, Eve Marder’s work in Neuroscience. Nassim, C. MIT Press, Cambridge. Pp. ix-xi.

  • Marder, E (2018) The Voice of Evidence, eLife, 7: e39915. DOI: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.39915

  • Otopalik, A. G., M. L. Goeritz, A. C. Sutton, T. Brookings, C. Guerini and E. Marder (2017). "Sloppy morphological tuning in identified neurons of the crustacean stomatogastric ganglion." Elife. 2017; 6: e22352.

  • Otopalik, A. G., A. C. Sutton, M. Banghart and E. Marder (2017). "When complex neuronal structures may not matter." Elife. 2017; 6: e23508.

  • Marder, E., Gutierrez, G.J., and Nusbaum, M.P. (2017) Complicating connectomes: electrical coupling creates parallel pathways and degenerate circuit mechanisms. Dev. Neurobiol., 77: 597-609.

  • Otopalik, A.G., Lane, B., Schulz, D.J. and Marder, E. (2017) Innexin Expression in electrically coupled motor circuits. Neurosc Lett, 10.1016/j.neulet.2017.07.016

  • Nusbaum, M.P., Blitz, D.M., and Marder, E. (2017) Functional consequences of neuropeptide/small molecule cotransmission. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 18: 389-403.

  • Marder, E. (2017) Scientific Publishing: Beyond scoops to best practices. eLife 6:e30076. doi: 10.7554/eLife.30076

  • Marder, E. (2017) The importance of Remembering. eLife 6:e30599. doi.org/10.7554/eLife.30599

  • Gjorgjieva J, Drion G, Marder E. Computational implications of biophysical diversity and multiple timescales in neurons and synapses for circuit performance. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2016;37:44-52.

  • Clandinin, T. R. and E. Marder (2016). "Editorial overview: Microcircuit evolution and computation 2016." Curr Opin Neurobiol 41: 188-190.

  • Marder, E. (2016). "The rites of spring, Take 2." eLife. 2016; 5: e16846.

  • Marder, E., G. J. Gutierrez and M. P. Nusbaum (2016). "Complicating connectomes: Electrical coupling creates parallel pathways and degenerate circuit mechanisms." Dev Neurobiol. 2016 Jun 17.

  • Northcutt, A. J., K. M. Lett, V. B. Garcia, C. M. Diester, B. J. Lane, E. Marder and D. J. Schulz (2016). "Deep sequencing of transcriptomes from the nervous systems of two decapod crustaceans to characterize genes important for neural circuit function and modulation." BMC Genomics 17(1): 868.

  • O'Leary, T. and E. Marder (2016). "Temperature-Robust Neural Function from Activity-Dependent Ion Channel Regulation." Curr Biol 26(21): 2935-2941.