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Crystal L. Lantz, PhD

Post Doctoral Associate
University of Maryland, College Park

 

I am a neurobiologist studying how experience influences the development and function of neural circuits in the visual system. My work examines the harmful effects of early life toxin exposure and visual restriction on anatomic and physiologic markers of brain plasticity, as well as non-invasive methods to restore plasticity and normal vision. I also explore the interface of science and art, using 3D printing, textiles, and generative art, focusing on open source pieces for science communication.

I am interested in how both amblyopia and fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, two conditions which are often co-morbid, alter the neuronal circuitry underlying vision. Through the understanding of these alterations, I will develop minimally invasive treatments which restore vision long after the initial developmental insult. Using the rodent as a model system, I employ in vivo chronic-multi-channel and whole-cell electrophysiology with pharmacologic, optogenetic, and chemogenetic methods to isolate neuronal circuits and neuron subtypes. Through these techniques I longitudinally track and interrogate the disruptions underlying visual deficits associated with ambylopia and FASD, as well as any changes after interventional treatments. Additionally, I employ behavioral end points to determine improvements in visual function as well as any behavioral changes induced by my interventions. Harnessing data analytics in Python and MATLAB, I implement custom workflows and analyses to methodically examine these highly dynamic and complex data sets. With this toolbox of techniques, in my future research I will precisely characterize, and ultimately reverse developmental insult mediated changes in visual cortex plasticity and circuitry.

See my list of publications on Google Scholar

 
Photo by Bryan Jones

Photo by Bryan Jones

Postdoctoral Research Associate
Quinlan Lab
Department of Biology
University of Maryland,
College Park, MD

Expression of mCherry (red) in vGluT2 expressing neurons of the visual thalamus projecting axons into the primary visual cortex, counter stained with DAPI (blue).  scale 100 microns

Expression of mCherry (red) in vGluT2 expressing neurons of the visual thalamus projecting axons into the primary visual cortex, counter stained with DAPI (blue).  scale 100 microns

 
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