Mohiuddin Ahmad


Assistant Professor, Department of Cell Biology



M.B.B.S., J.N. Medical College, Aligarh Muslim University, India
Ph.D., Neuroscience, Georg-August University, Goettingen, Germany
Postdoc, Stanford University, Palo Alto, California


Synaptic plasticity involves activity dependent changes in the strength of synaptic transmission and is critical for information processing and storage in the brain. The primary goal of my laboratory is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate various forms of synaptic plasticity in the mouse brain. We use a combination of cutting edge techniques of patch-clamp electrophysiology, optogenetics, in-vivo & in-vitro molecular manipulations and confocal imaging to investigate synapses. One focus of the lab is to study the trafficking mechanisms of AMPA-type of glutamate receptors that lead to long-term synaptic plasticity. It is widely accepted that trafficking of AMPA receptors in the dendrites and their incorporation into synapses mediates long-term potentiation (LTP), a prototypic form of synaptic plasticity. We have recently shown that complexin, a small SNARE-associated protein controls the exocytosis of AMPA receptors into synaptic membranes during LTP. We are continuing to explore and dissect the protein machinery that participates in AMPA receptor trafficking.

Another focus of the lab is to investigate how different cells and circuits in the mouse brain utilize synaptic plasticity events to regulate behavior. Long-term synaptic plasticity is believed to mediate many forms of experience dependent plasticity including learning and memory. We plan to use in-vivo virus based molecular manipulations, optogenetics and behavioral assays to link synaptic plasticity events in specific circuits to behavior.

It is being increasingly appreciated that synaptic dysfunction underlies many forms of neurologic and psychiatric diseases such as autism spectrum disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia and depression. The knowledge gained through research into synaptic physiology will help us unravel how brain circuits generate normal behaviors as well as their disturbances in brain disorders.


Zhang D, Marlin MC, Liang Z, Ahmad M, Ashpole NM, Sonntag WE, Zhao ZJ, Li G (2016). The Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase MEG2 Regulates the Transport and Signal Transduction of Tropomyosin Receptor Kinase A. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 291(46):23895-23905.

Bacaj T*, Ahmad M*, Jurado S*, Malenka RC and Südhof TC (2015). Synaptic function of Rab11Fip5: selective requirement for hippocampal long-term depression. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(19):7460-7474. *contributed equally to the study

Soler-Llavina GJ, Arstikaitis P, Morishita W, Ahmad M, Südhof TC and Malenka RC (2013). Leucine-rich repeat transmembrane proteins are essential for maintenance of long-term potentiation. Neuron 79, 439-446.

Ahmad M, Polepalli JS, Goswami D, Yang X, Kaeser-Woo YJ, Südhof TC and Malenka RC (2012). Postsynaptic complexin controls AMPA receptor exocytosis during LTP. Neuron 73, 260-267.

Fairless R,  Masius H, Rohlmann A, Heupel K, Ahmad M, Reissner C, Dresbach T, Müller M, and Missler M (2008). Polarized targeting of Neurexins to synapses is regulated by their C-terminal sequences. The Journal of Neuroscience, 28(48), 12969-81.

Dudanova I*, Sedej S*, Ahmad M*, Masius H, Sargsyan V, Zhang W, Riedl D, Angenstein F, Schild D, Rupnik M, Missler M (2006). Important contribution of α-neurexins to Ca2+-triggered exocytosis of secretory granules. The Journal of Neuroscience, 26, 10599-10613. *contributed equally to the study


University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center
Department of Cell Biology
940 Stanton L. Young Blvd.
BMSB 538
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 271-8001 ext. 47964
Fax: (405) 271-3548