University of California, Irvine, Department of Biological Sciences, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Dr. Ricardo Miledi

(M.D., National Autonomous University (Mexico), 1954)

Neurotransmitter receptors and synaptic functions

  • Faculty Profile

    Publications via PubMed (NIH National Library of Medicine)

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  • The main aim of my laboratory is to understand, at the molecular level, the transmission of signals across nerve cells, a process which underlies all brain functions. Proper understanding of the mechanisms of synaptic transmission requires detailed knowledge of the receptors, i.e., the proteins on which neurotransmitters act. My laboratory aims at obtaining this knowledge by combined biochemical and electrophysiological approaches. Much of my laboratorys present work involves a novel technique that allows the expression in Xenopus oocytes of functional receptors, whose structure is encoded in brain mRNAs. The oocytes are induced to acquire the receptors that operate in the brain by injecting them with mRNA isolated from the brains of various animal species (including human). In this way, oocytes have been induced to acquire many receptors and other membrane proteins of nerve cells. Once expressed in large Xenopus oocytes (over 1 mm diameter) the receptors and the intracellular second messengers some of them activate, become more amenable to detailed studies.
    Dr. Miledi is part of the UCI Graduate Track 1) Neurobiology and 2) Structural Biology and Molecular Biophysics within the UCI graduate Program in Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry. Applications requests or additional information about the graduate program may be obtained by electronic mail at or by phone at (949) 824-8145. On-line applications may also be submitted through the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

    1) Molecular Biology, Genetics, and Biochemistry

    2) Email: or call (949) 824-8145

    3) Graduate Studies Home Page, with links to On-line applications and the Office of Research and Graduate Studies

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