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Natalia V. Luchkina, PhD


Natalia V. Luchkina, PhD


McLean Hospital


McLean Hospital Mental Health Research Scholars


2017 - 2018

For nearly 30 years, the funding provided by the Rappaport Foundation to physicians and researchers has allowed brilliance to flourish and breakthroughs to triumph in the areas of neurologic diseases and mental illness.

Natalia V. Luchkina, PhD, received her PhD degree from the University of Helsinki in Finland. During her graduate studies, Dr. Luchkina explored a developmental profile of mechanisms underlying the induction and expression of long-term-potentiation at CA3-CA1 synapses in the hippocampus. Her results linked the expression of GluA4 subunits of the AMPA receptor to alterations in signaling requirements for the induction of long-term potentiation, explaining the switch in LTP kinase dependency during synapse maturation. She found that GluA4 subunit expression may define the signaling requirements for LTP and silent synapse activation during a critical period of synapse development and also demonstrated that maturation of glutamatergic synapses involves a critical period during which presynaptic function is highly susceptible to activity-dependent regulation through a PKC-dependent mechanism.

In the Bolshakov laboratory at McLean, Dr. Luchkina uses optogenetics to explore how brain functions underlying complex behavioral processes are regulated.