Laurence Trussell, Ph.D.

Laurence Trussell, Ph.D.

Professor, Oregon Hearing Research Center
Joint Appointment, Vollum Institute

Phone: 503-494-3424
Office: MRB 924B

Trussell Lab

Laurence Trussell's research at the Oregon Hearing Research Center, OHSU

View research papers on PubMed


Laurence Trussell received his Ph.D. in Biology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1983. After initial postdoctoral work at UCLA, he obtained further training at Washington University, St. Louis. In 1990, he received a faculty appointment at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. In 1999, he was appointed as professor in the Oregon Hearing Research Center (OHRC) at OHSU with an appointment as scientist at the Vollum Institute.


Summary of Current Research

Using chemical and electrical signals, neurons preserve, process, and integrate information about sensory stimuli in the environment. Each sensory modality presents the brain with special challenges. These challenges are met by unique neuronal circuitry and by unique cellular characteristics in the neurons themselves. Laurence Trussell and his associates are interested in the fine tuning of membrane properties and synapses requisite to the incredible feats of computation performed in the auditory system, where even microsecond differences in signals have behavioral consequences.

The Trussell lab works on neurons in the cochlear nuclei and trapezoid body because their synapses offer the opportunity to study synaptic transmission at high resolution and because the investigators can relate findings about cellular mechanisms to activity measured in vivo. Patch-clamp analyses reveal that these neurons express a complement of glutamate receptors and potassium channels that enable the cells to fire reliably in response to incoming stimuli, thus passaging signals with little temporal jitter. The lab is finding that mechanisms of neurotransmitter release and clearance are also fine-tuned to the tasks of preserving timing information. Moreover, these neurons express presynaptic receptors that regulate electrical activity in unusual ways. Trussell and colleagues employ electrophysiological and optical approaches to reveal how single synapses participate in this process. Other studies in the lab are directed toward understanding the mechanisms and functions of long-term synaptic plasticities within auditory circuits.


Selected Publications

Lu HW and Trussell LO. (2016) Spontaneous activity defines effective convergence ratios in an inhibitory circuit. J. Neurosci. 36:3268-3280.

Yaeger DB and Trussell LO. (2015) Single granule cells excite Golgi cells and evoke feedback inhibition in the cochlear nucleus. J. Neurosci. 35:4741-4750.

Tang ZQ and Trussell LO. (2015) Serotonergic regulation of excitability of principal cells of the dorsal cochlear nucleus. J. Neurosci. 35:4540-4551.

Borges-Merjane C and Trussell LO. (2015) ON and OFF unipolar brush cells transform multisensory inputs to the auditory system. Neuron 85:1029-1042.

Huang H and Trussell LO. (2014) Presynaptic HCN channels regulate vesicular glutamate transport. Neuron 84:340-346.

Apostolides PF and Trussell LO. (2014) Control of interneuron firing by subthreshold synaptic potentials in principal cells of the dorsal cochlear nucleus. Neuron 83:324-330.

Apostolides PF and Trussell LO. (2014) Chemical synaptic transmission onto superficial stellate cells of the mouse dorsal cochlear nucleus. J. Neurophys. 111:1812-1822.

Apostolides PF and Trussell LO. (2013) Regulation of interneuron excitability by gap junction coupling with principal cells. Nature Neurosci. 16:1764-1772.

Kuo SP, Lu HW and Trussell LO. (2012) Intrinsic and synaptic properties of vertical cells of the mouse dorsal cochlear nucleus. J. Neurophys. 108:1186-1198.

Bender KJ and Trussell LO. (2012) The physiology of the axon initial segment. Ann. Rev. Neurosci. 35:249-265.

Bender KJ, Uebele VN, Renger JJ and Trussell LO. (2012) Control of firing patterns through modulation of axon initial segment T-type calcium channels. J. Physiol. 590:109-118.

Kuo SP and Trussell LO. (2011) Spontaneous spiking and synaptic depression underlie noradrenergic control of feed-forward inhibition. Neuron 71:306-318.

Huang H and Trussell LO. (2011) KCNQ5 channels control resting properties and release probability of a synapse. Nature Neurosci. 14:840-847.

Bender KJ, Ford CP, and Trussell LO. (2010) Dopaminergic modulation of axon initial segment calcium channels regulates action potential initiation. Neuron 68:500-511.