David Sulzer, PhD

Profile Navigation

Overview

Academic Appointments

  • Professor of Neurobiology (in Psychiatry, Neurology and Pharmacology) at CUMC

Gender

  • Male

Research

Dr. Sulzer's lab investigates the function and alteration of the synapses of the cortex and the basal ganglia including the dopamine system in normal behaviors such as habit formation and action selection, and in diseases of the system. Their work has made fundamental contributions to understanding the roles of these synapses in Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases, schizophrenia, autism, and drug addiction. His laboratory developed new optical, electrophysiological and electrochemical methods including the first direct recordings of quantal neurotransmitter release from synapses, the fundamental unit of neurotransmission, and the first optical methods to observe neurotransmitter release and reuptake. His work increased the understanding of the life cycle of synaptic vesicles, cellular structures that package neurotransmitter release.

Among the discoveries and inventions of the laboratory are 1) discovery of co-release of glutamate from dopamine neurons (with Stephen Rayport) 2) introduction of the weak base mechanism of amphetamine action and the first direct measurement of reverse transport, an important property of amphetamine 3) the first recording of quantal neurotransmitter release from CNS synapses, by using amperometry at dopamine terminals 4) discovery of multiple means to alter quantal size, including the effects of L-DOPA, amphetamine, vesicle transporter expression (with Robert Edwards), rebound hyperacidification, and discovery of fusion pore flickering 5) discovery of the biosynthetic pathway of neuromelanin 6) introduction of & the role of autophagic degradation in synaptic development, which may underlie forms of autism, 7) discovery of how alpha-synuclein and other proteins are degraded by chaperone-mediated autophagy, which may underlie forms of Parkinson’s (with Ana Maria Cuervo) 8) the first optical analysis of corticostriatal transmission, showing the role of activity, dopamine, and acetylcholine in synaptic selection (with Nigel Bamford) 9) co-invention of fluorescent false neurotransmitters, the first optical means to observe neurotransmitter release and reuptake from CNS terminals (with Dalibor Sames) 10) discovered the role of glutamate in controlling axonal outgrowth and branching 11) discovery of antigen presentation by neurons targeted in Parkinson’s disease, which may underlie targeted cell death.

The Sulzer lab has published over 140 papers on this research and has received awards from the McKnight, Helmsely, Picower, Michael J Fox, Simons, HDSA Foundations, NIH, and NARSAD.

Research Interests

  • Synapses and Circuits
  • Neural Degeneration and Repair

Grants

DOPAMINE SYNAPSES AND OPERANT CONDITIONING (Federal Gov)

Feb 15 2019 - Nov 30 2023

AUTOIMMUNE FEATURES OF NEURODEGENERATIVE DISORDERS (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 2018 - Jul 31 2023

PATHOLOGICAL STRIATOPALLIDAL NEURONAL ENSEMBLES IN LEARNED MOTOR IMPAIRMENT IN PD (Federal Gov)

Sep 1 2018 - May 31 2023

CELLULAR AND PHYSIOLOGICAL MECHANISM OF PARKINSON S DISEASE PATHOGENESIS (Private)

Nov 1 2018 - Oct 31 2021

REGULATION OF STRIATAL MATURATION BY DOPAMINE AND MACROAUTOPHAGY: IMPLICATIONS FOR NEUROPSYCHIATRIC DISORDERS (Federal Gov)

Sep 15 2017 - Sep 14 2021

THE STRIATAL CHOLINERGIC INTERNEURONS IN PARKINSON S DISEASE AND TREATMENT (Federal Gov)

May 1 2017 - Feb 28 2021

DEVELOPMENT OF FLUORESCENT FALSE NEUROTRANSMITTERS (Federal Gov)

May 18 2015 - Feb 29 2020

OPTICAL IMAGING OF DOPAMINE KINETICS IN PREFRONTAL CORTEX OF NORMAL AND SCHIZOPHRENIA MODEL MICE (Federal Gov)

Jun 1 2016 - Aug 31 2019

REGULATION OF STRIATAL NEURONS DEVELOPMENTAL MATURATION BY MTOR/AUTOPHAGY AND DOPAMINE (Private)

Aug 1 2017 - Jul 31 2019

IMPAIRED MTOR-MACROAUTOPHAGY AND NEUROCOGNITIVE DEFICITS IN TUBEROUS SCLEROSIS COMPLEX (Federal Gov)

Jun 15 2016 - Jul 14 2019

EFFECTS OF CANNABIS ON NEURONAL TRANSLATION (Federal Gov)

Apr 1 2016 - Mar 31 2019

WILLIAM L. RICHTER FAMILY FOUNDATION AWARD (Private)

Dec 1 2016 - Nov 30 2018

CELLULAR AND PHYSIOLOGICAL MECHANISMS OF PARKINSON S DISEASE PATHOGENESIS (Private)

Sep 1 2015 - Oct 31 2018

DEVELOPING A TETRAMER LIBRARY AS A BIOMARKER FOR AUTOIMMUNITY IN PARKINSON S DISEASE (Private)

Jun 14 2016 - Dec 31 2017

NEUROINFLAMMATION VIA T-CELL RESPONSE IN PARKINSON S AND LEWY BODY DISEASES (Private)

Jan 1 2016 - Dec 31 2017

AUTOPHAGY PATHWAY AS A NOVEL THERAPEUTIC TARGET IN AUTISM (Private)

Sep 1 2016 - Aug 31 2017

PARKINSON S DISEASE FOUNDATION (PDF) RESEARCH CENTER GRANT (Private)

Jul 1 2016 - Jun 30 2017

NEURONAL TRANSLATION IN TSC2+/-AND FMR1-/Y MUTANT ASD MOUSE MODELS (Private)

Jul 1 2015 - Jun 30 2017

OPTICAL ANALYSIS OF CORTICAL DOPAMINE TRANSMISSION (Private)

Mar 15 2016 - Mar 14 2017

PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTER GRANT (Private)

Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2016

IDENTIFICATION OF AUTOIMMUNITY IN PARKINSON S (Private)

Sep 1 2014 - Aug 31 2015

MECHANISMS OF SUBSTANTIA NIGRA NEURONAL DEATH IN PARKINSON S DISEASE (Private)

Sep 1 2012 - Aug 31 2015

MECHANISMS OF DOPAMINE NEURON DEGENERATION (Federal Gov)

Aug 1 2000 - Jul 31 2015

PHYSIOLOGICAL ROLE OF LYSOSOMAL LRRK2 IN THE REGULATION OF CMA (Private)

Jul 1 2013 - Jun 30 2015

PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTER GRANT (Private)

Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2015

ALTERED ASTROCYTE-NEURON INTERACTIONS AND EPILEPTOGENESIS IN TUBEROUS SCLEROSIS COMPLEX DISORDER (Federal Gov)

Jun 1 2012 - May 31 2015

ALCOHOL AND DOPAMINE RELEASE: CELLULAR AND SYNAPTIC MECHANISMS (Federal Gov)

Jul 15 2010 - Apr 30 2015

MECHANISMS OF PARKINSON S DISEASE PATHOGENESIS (Private)

Oct 15 2011 - Oct 14 2014

CHARACTERIZATION OF A SELECTIVE LACK OF MACROAUTOPHAGY IN DIRECT PATHWAY MEDIUM SPINY NEURONS (Private)

Jul 1 2014 - Aug 31 2014

COLLABORATIVE EFFORT IN STEM CELL BIOLOGY (Private)

Jul 1 2010 - Jun 30 2014

PARKINSON S DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTE (Private)

Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2014

PARKINSON S DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTE (Private)

Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2014

IMPLICATIONS OF ANTIGEN PRESENTATION BY DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS IN AN AAV2-SYNUCLEIN MOUSE MODEL OF PARKINSON S DISEASE (Private)

Jun 1 2013 - May 31 2014

MECHANISMS OF SUBSTANTIA NIGRA NEURONAL DEATH IN PARKINSON S DISEASE (Private)

Oct 15 2011 - Oct 14 2013

GLUCOCEREBROSIDASE AND MITOCHONDRIAL AUTOPHAGY IN DOPAMINERGIC NEURONS (Private)

Jul 1 2011 - Sep 30 2013

ABERRANT SYNAPTIC FORM AND FUNCTION DUE TO TSC-MTOR-RELATED MUTATION IN AUTISM (Private)

Jul 1 2010 - Jun 30 2013

BASIC NEUROSCIENCE TRAINING GRANT AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY (Federal Gov)

Jul 1 2010 - Jun 30 2013

PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION (PDF) RESEARCH CENTER GRANT 2012-2013 (Private)

Jul 1 2009 - Jun 30 2013

PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION (PDF) RESEARCH CENTER GRANT 20 10-2011 (Private)

Jul 1 2009 - Jun 30 2013

PRESYNAPTIC PLASTICITY OF VESICULAR DOPAMINE RELEASE (Federal Gov)

Jul 15 2012 - Apr 30 2013

GLYT1 INHIBITORS PROMOTE DOPAMINERGIC STRIATAL SPROUTING (Private)

Jul 1 2011 - Jun 30 2012

PRESYNAPTIC PLASTICITY OF VESICULAR DOPAMINE RELEASE (Federal Gov)

Sep 30 1995 - May 31 2012

RHYTHMICITY AND SYNCHRONY IN THE BASAL GANGLIA (Federal Gov)

Aug 1 2010 - Jul 31 2011

ABERRANT SYNAPTIC FUNCTION DUE TO TSC MUTATION IN AUTISM (Private)

Jul 1 2008 - Jun 30 2011

SPECTRA-PHYSICS MAI TAI HP LASER (Federal Gov)

Mar 25 2010 - Mar 24 2011