In the News


A new study from Prof. Bal Khakh’s lab identifies astrocyte gene expression changes in Huntington’s Disease, paving the way for identification of therapeutic targets.
Astrocyte molecular signatures in Huntington’s disease was published in Science Translational Medicine 16 Oct 2019: Vol. 11, Issue 514.
The study is also covered by UCLA Health News


Jun Nagai and colleagues in Prof. Bal Khakh’s lab published in Cell that astrocytes, non-neuronal cells in the brain, regulate behaviors including hyperactivity and attention by promoting new connections between neurons.
Hyperactivity with Disrupted Attention by Activation of an Astrocyte Synaptogenic Cue Cell Volume 177, Issue 5, 16 May 2019, Pages 1280-1292.e20 (PDF of article)

Sonal Srikanth and Yousang Gwack

In Nature Immunology faculty members Sonal Srikanth and Yousang Gwack report a new role for a Ca2+ sensor molecule (STIM1) to keep the immune system in check by retaining STING (stimulator of interferon genes) in the ER.
STIM1 moonlights as an anchor for STING Nature Immunology 20, 152–162 (2019)

Featured Faculty

Ambre Bertholet, Ph.D.

The UCLA Department of Physiology is pleased to announce the appointment of Ambre Bertholet, Ph.D. starting December 1, 2020.

Dr. Bertholet was trained in Toulouse, France at the Université Paul Sabatier. She earned her B.S. in Cell Biology and Physiology, M.S. in Gene Cells and Development, and her Ph.D. in Biology, Health and Biotechnologies. Subsequently, she did her postdoctoral training with Dr. Yuiry Kirichok at UC San Francisco and is currently an Assistant Research Physiologist.

Her interest in mitochondria was sparked as a graduate student in the laboratory of Pr. Pascale Belenguer. During her Ph.D. research, she analyzed the influence of mitochondrial dynamics on neuronal maturation and functioning.

As a postdoctoral trainee, she focused on another important aspect of mitochondrial physiology – the transport of ions and metabolites across the mitochondrial membranes. In the Kirichok lab, she developed a patch-clamp method for directly measuring proton movement across the inner mitochondrial membrane. This innovation enabled Dr. Bertholet to identify novel transport mechanisms for the mitochondrial H+ leak responsible for mitochondrial heat production and metabolic regulation of energy expenditure.

We look forward to having Dr. Bertholet in the Physiology Department.