About our lab

Researchers in the Westbrook Lab would like to understand how synapses and small circuits do their work. Our earlier work was mostly directed at the level of receptors, particularly N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, and the function of single synapses. Our efforts have now largely shifted to studies of small networks (microcircuits) in the hippocampus. Our goal is to understand how such circuits are formed, regulate their activity and contribute to the function of neural systems.

Visit our Projects page to learn more about the ongoing research.

Westbrook Lab 2023
L-to-R: Elena Sevrin, Teyline McLean, Ashleigh Simmonds, Amir Veshagh, Gary Westbrook, Christina Chatzi, Not Pictured: Milana Krush

Employment opportunities

Postdoctoral Fellow
If you are interested in working on our projects as a postdoctoral fellow, please send your CV and names of three references to Gary Westbrook via email.

Graduate Student Program
Graduate students can enter the Westbrook lab via the Neuroscience Graduate Program.

Summer Research Opportunities
We usually have one or two summer students in the lab each year. If you are interested, contact Gary Westbrook via email.

De novo mouse model of NMDAR encephalitis

3D-printed model of the extracellular domains of an NMDA receptor

In collaboration with the Gouaux lab, Brian Jones in the Westbrook lab developed a mouse model of anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis using active immunization with intact native-like NMDARs embedded in liposomes. The research was published July 10 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Learn more at OHSU News

Bursts of exercise can prime the brain for learning

Cartoon mouse in a running wheel

Scientists in the Goodman and Westbrook labs report that even a short period of exercise causes structural and functional increases in synapses in the dentate gyrus. They linked it to an understudied, membrane-bending gene called Mtss1L. The research was published online in the journal eLife.
Learn more at OHSU News