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Publications in VIVO

Stowell, Michael Associate Professor


Research Areas research areas


research overview

  • Our research is focused on molecular and supramolecular structures that facilitate communication between neurons at the chemical synapse and how such structures are perturbed in neurological disease. We are particularly interested in the architectural arrangement of signaling molecules and enzymes, and characterizing the ways in which such molecular assemblies are formed and undergo changes during synaptic transmission and modulation. Our approach is to investigate individual proteins using cryoEM methods and to combine this information with cryoET reconstructions of the intact chemical synapse. Our long-term goal is to construct a dynamic molecular and architectural map for the chemical synapse that will help to understand synaptic formation, transmission and plasticity


  • frontal temporal degeneration, Alzheimer's disease, neurodegenerative diseases/disorders, membrane proteins, cryo-electron microscopy


selected publications


courses taught

  • MCDB 1234 - Skills Center: Modular Laboratory of Modern Molecular Biology Skills
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2021 / Spring 2022
    Dedicated to teaching students fundamental laboratory skills in modern molecular biology. The skills are updated on a rolling basis in consultation with MCDB faculty and local Pharma/Biotech companies in an effort to provide students with real world skills that can help them transition from a traditional lab course environment to a more independent research environment. Credit hours are determined according to the Colorado Department of Higher Education guidelines such that 12.5 module hours equals one university credit hour. Students can mix and match various skills to receive one or more university credit hours and students who successfully complete a module are given a certificate recognizing their competency.
  • MCDB 2200 - Introduction to Biophysical Methods: From Brains to Bonds
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2020
    Provides a practical overview of modern biophysical methods used to study biological systems from whole body imaging methods to methods for investigating single molecules and molecular bonds. The goal of this course is to provide a broad survey of methods available to the modern biologist rather than a complete in-depth treatment of the physics and mathematics of each individual method.
  • MCDB 3651 - The Brain: Dysfunction to Disease
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Misregulation of synaptic function results in abnormal brain function and behavior that is manifested in numerous neurological and psychiatric diseases. Explores the molecular mechanisms responsible for altered synaptic plasticity in neurological diseases such as frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Parkinson's disease, Huntington's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Down syndrome, epilepsy, autism, and Alzheimer's disease. Recommended prerequisites: MCDB 3650 or NRSC 2100 (minimum grade C-) or instructor consent required.
  • MCDB 6000 - Introduction to Laboratory Methods
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Introduces methodology and techniques used in biological research. Designed as a tutorial between a few students and one faculty member. Students are expected to read original research papers, discuss findings, and to plan and execute experiments in selected areas. May be repeated up to 15 total credit hours.


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