Helen Bateup

Research Expertise and Interest

molecular and cellular neuroscience, neurodevelopmental disorders, autism, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease

Research Description

Helen Bateup is an associate professor in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology.  Her research include the following:

The ability of neurons to dynamically alter their activity in response to changes in the internal or external environment is fundamental to our brain's capacity to learn and adapt. Importantly, this remarkable plasticity must be balanced by mechanisms that ensure stable activity at the level of neural circuits. Understanding the molecular machinery that allows neurons to both be dynamic and maintain balance is a fundamental goal of Helen Bateup's research group. Perturbations in neural circuit plasticity and homeostasis are associated with several neurological and psychiatric disorders including autism spectrum disorder and epilepsy. Therefore, a main focus of Bateup's lab work is to understand how molecular changes associated with these diseases lead to unbalanced neural activity.

In the News

Food Insecurity Has Lasting Impacts on the Brains and Behavior of Mice

While food insecurity is a problem for a growing segment of the U.S. population — made even worse by the coronavirus pandemic — few studies have looked at the effect that feast or famine has on the developing brain in isolation from other factors that contribute to adversity. A new study by neuroscientists at the University of California, Berkeley, simulated the effects of food insecurity in juvenile mice and found lasting changes later in life.

Neuroscientists roll out first comprehensive atlas of brain cells

When you clicked to read this story, a band of cells across the top of your brain sent signals down your spine and out to your hand to tell the muscles in your index finger to press down with just the right amount of pressure to activate your mouse or track pad. A slew of new studies now shows that the area of the brain responsible for initiating this action — the primary motor cortex, which controls movement — has as many as 116 different types of cells that work together to make this happen.

$14 million boost for Parkinson’s disease research

Two new grants totaling nearly $14 million over three years will jump-start research at UC Berkeley into the molecular and genetic causes of Parkinson’s disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that afflicts more than 1 million Americans, yet whose cause remains a mystery.
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