Dax A. Hoffman, PhD
Dr. Dax Hoffman received his B.S. in Genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1994 and his Ph.D. from Baylor College of Medicine in 1999, where he studied dendritic K+ channels with Dr. Dan Johnston. During a postdoctoral fellowship with Dr. Bert Sakmann at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg Germany, he investigated synaptic plasticity and Ca2+ signaling in transgenic and gene-targeted mice. Dr. Hoffman became head of the Molecular Neurophysiology and Biophysics Unit, NICHD in 2002. His laboratory explores dendritic signal processing in CA1 pyramidal neurons of the hippocampus.
Jiahua Hu, PhD
Jiahua earned his PhD in Cell Biology from Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS in 2003, where he studied the role of GABA transporters in learning and memory and neurological diseases. After his PhD, Jiahua joined the laboratory of Dr. Paul Worley at The Solomon H. Snyder Department of Neuroscience in Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, where he continued to study the mechanisms of neuronal plasticity. Jiahua was then recruited to the NIH in February of 2014 as a Staff Scientist. He is interested in dynamic regulations of synaptic ion channels and metabotropic receptors implicated in neuronal plasticity, excitability and psychiatric disorders with a combination of techniques including Tandem affinity purification-mass spectrometry, biochemistry, imaging and behavior. Jiahua was awarded NARSAD Young Investigator Grant in 2014-2015.
Lin Lin, MD
Lin obtained her MD degree at Tianjin Medical University. Afterward, before joining the Hoffman lab, Lin’s research focused on the trafficking and function of nicotinic receptors in CNS in Dr. Anand’s lab at LSUHSC, New Orleans. Then she moved to the NIH (the best place for research), to study the mechanisms behind transmembrane agrin regulation of dendritic filopodia and synapse formation in hippocampal neurons in Dr. Daniels lab. In the Hoffman lab, Lin’s current research focuses on the A-type K+ channels subunit Kv4.2 complex, including its auxiliary subunits (KChIPs and DPP6) which are important for its trafficking and neuronal excitability. The DPP6 gene has been associated with a number of human CNS disorders including ASDs and schizophrenia. Lin discovered a novel role for DPP6 in the regulation of dendritic morphogenesis, impacting hippocampal synapse formation and development.
Ying Liu, MD
Ying received her MD in 1984 at Shanghai Medical University (current name Shanghai Medical College at Fudan University) where she also obtained her MS degree. She studied Pathobiology at University of Connecticut and obtained her MS in 1994. She did extensive research on molecular regulation of nuclear hormone receptors from 1994-1997 at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. She worked at NIDDK and NICHD doing endocrine research on thyroid hormone receptors and CRH regulation from 1997-2013. After joined Dr. Hoffman’s lab, Ying’s current research focuses on the roles of A-type K+ channels subunit Kv4.2 with other ion channels in neuronal plasticity and excitability.
Postdoctoral Research Fellows
Adriano Bellotti, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Adriano received his BS in biomedical engineering from North Carolina State University and is on leave of absence from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Cambridge partnering with the Hoffman lab, where he is studying cycling rates of Kv4.2 and how such regulation contributes to neuron homeostasis and plasticity.
Cole Malloy, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Cole received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Kentucky. He remained at Kentucky to pursue his graduate degree and completed his Ph.D. in Biology in 2017 in the lab of Dr. Robin Cooper. While in the Cooper lab, Cole’s primary research focus was on investigation of acetylcholine modulation of neural circuit function in the Drosophila melanogaster CNS. He also studied activity-dependent plasticity in somatosensory circuits and made contributions to the understanding of mechanisms regulating Drosophila cardiac physiology. His graduate work spurred a keen interest into enhancing knowledge of the contribution of ion channels in regulation of intrinsic excitability and plasticity in neurons and circuits. He joined the Hoffman lab in the fall of 2017 where he switched to the mouse model and is currently using patch-clamp electrophysiology and imaging to investigate how the dynamic regulation of A-type K+ channels impacts dendritic excitability and synaptic plasticity.
Jon Murphy, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Jon received his bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry at the University of Oregon. At Oregon, he did undergraduate research in the lab of Dr. Eric Selker studying eukaryotic DNA methylation and genome defense mechanisms in Neurospora crassa. After undergrad, Jon worked as a research technician at the Oregon Health & Sciences University under Dr. Roger Cone and Dr. Wei Fan. While there, he studied the role of the central melanocortin system in regulating metabolism and obesity in mice. Jon went on to complete his Ph.D. in Neuroscience at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus in the lab of Dr. Mark Dell’Acqua. In his Ph.D., Jon studied how recruitment of the enzymes PKA and calcineurin by a postsynaptic A-kinase anchoring protein (AKAP5) regulates both the activity of L-type calcium channels and their coupling to activation of the transcription factor NFAT. A recent addition to the Hoffman lab, Jon is interested in studying how various forms of plasticity and excitation feed into activity dependent changes in the expression, localization, and function of ion channels in hippocampal dendrites.