The Silva laboratory is studying the biology of learning and memory. They are interested in the molecular, cellular and circuit processes that underlie the allocation, encoding, storage and linking of information. To accomplish this they are using a variety of techniques including sophisticated molecular genetic approaches, optical physiology, optogenetics, in vivo 2 photon imaging, a new generation of head-mounted fluorescent miniscopes and behavioral analysis.
Silva and colleagues have also studied the impact of these mechanisms in animal models of cognitive disorders, including intellectual disabilities. Based on these mechanistic studies, they have developed treatments for Neurofibromatosis type I and Tuberous Sclerosis, that are currently being tested in clinical trials. The Silva laboratory is also developing bioinformatic strategies for tracking and planning experiments (researchmaps.org).
Denise J. Cai, Daniel Aharoni, Tristan Shuman, Justin Shobe, Jeremy Biane, Weilin Song, Brandon Wei, Michael Veshkini, Mimi La-Vu, Jerry Lou, Sergio Flores, Isaac Kim, Yoshitake Sano, Miou Zhou, Karsten Baumgaertel, Ayal Lavi, Masakazu Kamata, Mark Tuszynski, Mark Mayford, Peyman Golshani and Alcino J. Silva. A shared neural ensemble links distinct contextual memories encoded close in time. Nature 534, 115–118 (02 June 2016)
Silva AJ, Müller KR. The need for novel informatics tools for integrating and planning research in molecular and cellular cognition. Learn Mem. 2015 Aug 18;22(9):494-8. PMID: 26286658
Sano, Y, Shobe, JL, Zhou, M, Huang, S, Cai, DJ, Roth, BL, Kamata, M, and Silva, AJ. CREB regulates memory allocation in the insular cortex. Curr Biol. 2014 Nov 13;24(23):2833-283 (2014) PMID: 25454591
Lee, Y-S, Ehninger, D, Zhou, M, Oh, J-Y, Butz, D, Araki, T, Nam, CI, Balaji, J, Sano, Y, Amin, A, Kim, H, Burger, C, Neel, BG, and Silva, AJ. Mechanism and treatment for the learning and memory deficits associated with mouse models of Noonan syndrome, Nature Neuroscience 17, 1736–1743 (2014); PMID: 25383899
Rogerson, T, Cai, D, Frank, A, Sano, Y, Shobe, J, Aranda, ML, Silva, AJ
Synaptic Tagging During Memory Allocation. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 15, 157–169 (2014) PMID: 24496410
Czajkowski, R, Jayaprakash, B, Wiltgen, B, Rogerson, T, Karlsson, MG, Barth, A, Trachtenberg, J, and Silva, AJ. Encoding and storage of spatial information in the retrosplenial cortex, PNAS Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 10;111(23):8661-6 PMID: 24912150
Landreth, A. and Silva, A.J. The Need for Research Maps to Navigate Published Work and Inform Experiment Planning. Neuron 2013 79 411-415 PMID: 23931992