Paul S. Katz, neuroscience

Professor and Director of Neuroscience

Phone: 413-545-0486

Email: pkatz@umass.edu

Professor Katz's lab is interested in neural circuits underlying rhythmic motor behavior. The lab uses sea slugs (Mollusca, Gastropoda, Heterobranchia, Nudipleura) because they have fairly simple brains with only 10,000 neurons and simple behaviors. The neurons are individually identifiable, allowing us to fully understand the neural mechanisms for these behaviors at the cellular level. Furthermore, because there are many species that have homologous neurons. The lab can compare the neural circuits in these species to learn about the evolution of neural circuits and behavior. They are also examining the development of the neural circuits to understand how homologous neurons come to differ in properties and connectivity. The lab uses a wide variety of techniques including intracellular electrophysiology, tracer staining, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization, single neuron RNA-seq, bioinformatics, computational simulations, and 3-D electron microscopic reconstruction of neural connections.