FY2022 Annual Report

Synapse Biology Unit
Professor Yukiko Goda

Tomoe, Mamoru, Sten, Yukiko, Christian,Vasileios
Taisuke, Maria, Amy, Alisher


The Synapse Biology Unit studies how the dynamic features of synaptic connections between neurons mediate and maintain effective information processing in the brain. Synaptic communication not only involves the presynaptic and postsynaptic sides of a synapse but also nearby synapses that share the local circuit, and the astrocyte network in which neurons are embedded. During FY2022, besides relocating and welcoming new members to our unit, we completed a collaborative work in defining the properties of synaptic interactions along stretches of dendrites during plasticity (Chater et al., submitted). In another study, we revealed a switch in the directionality of synaptic plasticity imposed by astrocyte signaling (Letellier and Goda, submitted).

1. Staff

  • Dr. Yukiko Goda, Professor
  • Dr. Mamoru Tanaka, Researcher (April 2022 -)
  • Dr. Maria Vasquez Pavon (Jan 2023 -)
  • Alisher Khojanazarov, Technical Staff (Sept 2022 -)
  • Paulette Garcia Andaluz, Rotation Student/PhD Student (Jan 2023 -)
  • Amy Xia Yi Yong, Rotation Student (Jan 2023 - Apr 2023)
  • Sofia Lloyd-Escribano, Internship Student (Oct 2022 -)
  • Chisako Kitayama, Internship Student (Oct 2022 – Jan 2023)
  • Maj Liiwand, Internship Student (Oct 2022 – Feb 2023)
  • Tomoe Furuya, Administrative Assistant (April 2022 -)

2. Collaborations

2.1 SHINKA grant collaboration

  • Exploring astrocyte regulation of neural network activity in health and disease
  • Type of collaboration: Joint research (ongoing)
  • Researchers:
    • Professor Ko Matsui, Tohoku University

3. Activities and Findings

3.1 Manuscript preparation (from previous affiliation)

  • Chater TE, Eggl MF, Goda Y*, Tchumatchenko T*. A quantitative rule to explain multi-spine plasticity. Submitted. (*co-corresponding authors)
  • Letellier M*, Goda Y*. Astrocyte calcium signaling shifts the polarity of presynaptic plasticity. Submitted (*co-corresponding authors)

4. Publications

4.1 Journals

  1. Saint-Martin M, Goda Y. Astrocyte-synapse interactions and cell adhesion molecules. FEBS J doi: 10.1111/febs.16540 (2022).
  2. Hui KK, Chater TE, Goda Y, Tanaka M. (2022) How staying negative is good for the (adult) brain: Maintaining Cl- homeostasis and the GABA shift in neurological disorders. Front Mol Neurosci 15, 893111. doi: 10.3389/fnmol.2022.893111 (2022).

4.2 Books and other one-time publications

Nothing to report

4.3 Oral and Poster Presentations

Oral Presentation

  1. Goda, Y. Features of synaptic strength regulation, OIST Computational Neuroscience Course Lecture. June 20 (2022).
  2. Goda, Y. Astrocyte-dependent tuning of basal synaptic strengths in the hippocampus, 8th FAONS Symposium (online). Aug 19 (2022).
  3. Goda Y. Astrocytes shape the variability of basal synaptic strengths in the hippocampus, ISN-ASPN Meeting, Symposium. Honolulu, Hawaii, USA. Aug 28 (2022).
  4. Goda Y. Regulating vesicle traffic along axons and at boutons. OIST ADR workshop lecture. Oct 6 (2022).
  5. Goda Y. Rules for distributing synaptic weights in hippocampal neurons. Seminar, Department of Neuroscience II, Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (RIEM), Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan, Oct 27 (2022).
  6. Goda Y. Fine-tuning communication in synaptic networks. Director’s Seminar, The John Curtin School of Medical Research. Australian National University (online). Nov 4 (2022).
  7. Goda Y. Fine-tuning communication in synaptic networks. SynAGE Lecture Series, Leibniz Institute for Neurobiology, Magdeburg, Germany (Online). Nov 11 (2022).
  8. Goda Y. Characterizing synaptic dynamics along dendrites. 7th OIST ABiS Light Microscopy Course Lecture. Jan 23 (2023).

Poster Presentations

  1. Chater, T and Goda, Y. Heterosynaptic spine structural plasticity across dendritic branches, Neuro2022 45th Annual Meeting of the Japan Neuroscience Society, Okinawa, June 30-July 3 (2022).
  2. Saint-Martin, M and Goda, Y. Astrocyte APLPs’ role on astrocyte/synapse interaction and synaptic plasticity, Neuro2022 45th Annual Meeting of the Japan Neuroscience Society, Okinawa, June 30-July 3 (2022).

Diversity (non-scientific)

  1. Goda Y. Panelist, Envisioning Futures at Science Agora, JST. Odaiba, Tokyo, Japan, Nov 6 (2022).
  2. Goda Y. Panelist, Celebration of Women in Neuroscience Luncheon, Society for Neuroscience Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, USA, Nov 15 (2022).
  3. Goda Y. Speaker, Breaking Barriers in Science, IUPAC Global Women’s Breakfast @OIST. Feb 14 (2023).

5. Intellectual Property Rights and Other Specific Achievements

Nothing to report

6. Meetings and Events

6.1 Seminar (hybrid) “Improved models of Alzheimer’s disease: plaques, synapses and a protective role for microglia”

  • Date: Sept 26, 2022
  • Venue: OIST Campus Lab1 D015
  • Speaker: Dr. Frances Edwards (University College London)

6.2 Seminar (hybrid) “Differential glial control of parallel memory formation”

  • Date: Dec 21, 2022
  • Venue: OIST Campus Lab3 C700
  • Speaker: Dr. Ko Matsui (Tohoku University)

7. Other

Nothing to report.