Nicola Allen, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Salk Institute for Biological Studies


Nicola Allen is an Associate Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, USA. She received her Ph.D. working with David Attwell at University College London studying neuronal responses to ischemia and performed Postdoctoral research with Ben Barres at Stanford University where she identified how astrocytes regulate the formation of functional synapses between neurons. Current work in her lab investigates how neuronal synapses are regulated throughout life: from the formation of synapses during development, to the remodeling of synapses in the adult in response to experience, to the loss of synapses in aging. This is approached not just by studying neurons, but by asking how non-neuronal glial cells, specifically astrocytes, regulate synapse number and synaptic function. The goal is to use this knowledge of astrocytes to repair synapses when they are dysfunctional in diverse neurological disorders.

website: www.salk.edu/scientist/nicola-allen/