The Vollum comprises a vibrant and diverse scientific community focused on understanding fundamental biological mechanisms. Learn about our faculty & labs
Welcome to the Vollum Institute
The Vollum Institute is a privately endowed research institute at Oregon Health & Science University dedicated to basic research that will lead to new treatments for neurological and psychiatric diseases. Vollum scientists have broad-ranging interests that coalesce around molecular neurobiology and cellular physiology. Their work has transformed the field of neuroscience and, in particular, have provided important advances in the study of synaptic transmission, neuronal development, neurotransmitter transporters, ion channels and the neurobiology of disease.
Researchers in Eric Gouaux's lab have discovered new information about the structure of the human serotonin transporter, one of the most important transporters in the brain and the target of many antidepressant drugs. Serotonin regulates neurological processes such as mood, sleep, cognition, hunger, and aggression. Lab members Jonathan Coleman and Evan Green made mutations which improve transporter stability and preserve antidepressant binding which allowed for structure determination by crystallography. They pinpoint the location of antidepressant drugs which bind to a central site and block serotonin binding and also identify the location of a separate allosteric site which interacts with antidepressants and modulates dissociation from the central site.
Read the OHSU news release
Read the article "Serotonin transporter structure revealed" in NIH Research Matters
Vollum Institute researcher Matt Whorton, was recently presented with an American Asthma Foundation (AAF) Scholar Award for his work on the structure and function of adenylyl cyclase. This highly competitive award supports basic research with potential applications to the study of asthma.
Read the full article on the OHSU Research News Blog
Spontaneous activity defines effective convergence ratios in an inhibitory circuit.
Hsin-Wei Lu, Laurence O. Trussell
J. Neuroscience, 2016 Mar 16;36(11):3268-3280
Postsynaptic plasticity triggered by Ca2+-permeable AMPA receptor activation in retinal amacrine cells.
Mean-Hwan Kim, Henrique von Gersdorff
Neuron, 2016 Feb 3;89(3):507-520
Nonequivalent release sites govern synaptic depression.
Hua Wen, Matthew J. McGinley, Gail Mandel, Paul Brehm
PNAS USA, 2016 Jan 19;113(3):E378-386
The REST remodeling complex protects genomic integrity during embryonic neurogenesis.
Tamilla Nechiporuk, James McGann, Karin Mullendorff, Jenny Hsieh, Wolfgang Wurst, Thomas Floss, Gail Mandel
eLife, 2016; 5:e09584