- Professor, Biology, College of Science
- Acting Associate Provost for Graduate & Professional Studies, Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President, Texas A&M University
Cellular and Developmental Neurobiology
Research Summary My laboratory studies cellular mechanisms governing the formation of specific synaptic connections between neurons and their targets. These mechanisms include cell-cell recognition and target-dependent induction of the presynaptic secretion machinery. Some of our studies investigate synapse formation of identified motoneurons of the American pond snail, Helisoma trivolvis , following nerve injury in vivo and in cell culture. Since the synapse is the site of most interneuronal communication within the nervous system, an understanding of the development, regeneration and plasticity of these connections is crucial to an ultimate appreciation of neural integration and brain function.
We also study a rare form of regeneration called neural morphallaxis in the annelid worm, Lumbriculus variegatus. This organism is ideal for examining behavioral, physiological, cellular and molecular mechanisms of development, regeneration and systems-level plasticity. We have defined the neural correlates of escape reflexes, which are reconfigured during morphallaxis. Recently we have begun investigations of synaptic molecules up-regulated specifically during morphallaxis. This model system is emerging as a valuable educational tool in the science classroom.
- Iowa State University - (Ames, Iowa, United States), Postdoctoral Training 1991
- Ph.D. in Zoology, Neurobiology, Iowa State University - (Ames, Iowa, United States) 1987
- M.Sc. in Biology, Illinois State University - (Normal, Illinois, United States) 1981
- B.A. in Biology, Augustana College - (Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States) 1979
- Lybrand, Z. R., Martinez‐Acosta, V. G., & Zoran, M. J. (2020). Coupled sensory interneurons mediate escape neural circuit processing in an aquatic annelid worm, Lumbriculus variegatus. The Journal of Comparative Neurology. 528(3), 468-480.
- Agrawal, P., Houl, J. H., Gunawardhana, K. L., Liu, T., Zhou, J., Zoran, M. J., & Hardin, P. E. (2017). Drosophila CRY Entrains Clocks in Body Tissues to Light and Maintains Passive Membrane Properties in a Non-clock Body Tissue Independent of Light. Current Biology. 27(16), 2431-2441.e3.
- Cherrstrom, C. A., Richardson, R., Fowler, D., Autenrieth, R., & Zoran, M. J. (2017). Creating Teaching Opportunities for STEM Future Faculty Development. Journal of STEM Teacher Education. 52(1), 55-69.
- Islam, R., Nakamura, M., Scott, H., Repnikova, E., Carnahan, M., Pandey, D., ... Panin, V. M. (2013). The Role of Drosophila Cytidine Monophosphate-Sialic Acid Synthetase in the Nervous System. Journal of Neuroscience. 33(30), 12306-12315.
- Lybrand, Z. R., & Zoran, M. J. (2012). Rapid neural circuit switching mediated by synaptic plasticity during neural morphallactic regeneration. Developmental Neurobiology. 72(9), 1256-1266.
- Zoran, M. J., & Martinez, V. G. (2009). Lumbriculus variegatus and the Need for Speed: A Model System for Rapid Escape, Regeneration and Asexual Reproduction. Annelids in Modern Biology. (pp. 185-202). John Wiley & Sons, Inc..
- Scott, H., Caster, C., Mertsalov, I., Alfert, M., Howell, B., Zoran, M. J., & Panin, V. (2014). The role of CMP-Sialic acid synthetase in Drosophila neural transmission. Glycobiology. 24(11), 1159-1159.
- Scott, H., Islam, R., Caster, C., Zoran, M. J., & Panin, V. M. (2013). The in vivo function of Drosophila CMP-Sialic acid synthetase. Glycobiology. 23(11), 1331-1331.
- Martinez, V. G., Reddy, P. K., & Zoran, M. J. (2006). Asexual Reproduction and Segmental Regeneration, but not Morphallaxis, are Inhibited by Boric Acid in Lumbriculus variegatus (Annelida: Clitellata: Lumbriculidae). Hydrobiologia. 564(1), 73-86.
- Martinez, V. G., & Zoran, M. J. (2002). Giant axon morphallaxis during segmental regeneration of Lumbriculus variegatus.. American zoologist. 42(6), 1273-1273.
- Haydon, P. G., Zoran, M. J., Man-Son-Hing, H. J., Sievers, E. M., & Doyle, R. T. (1990). A relation between synaptic specificity and the acquisition of presynaptic properties.. Journal of Physiology-Paris. 84(1), 111-120.
- Triff, Karen (2016-05). Assessment of Histone Tail Modifications and Transcriptional Profiling during Colon Cancer Progression: Effect of Chemoprotective Natural Compounds. (Doctoral Dissertation)
- Venkataraman, Archana (2013-05). Differential Protein Expression in the Insular Cortex and the Amygdala after Taste Memory Acquisition and Retrieval. (Master's Thesis)
- Burkeen, Jeffrey Franklin (2009-08). Calcium Signaling Mechanisms Mediate Clock-Controlled ATP Gliotransmission among Immortalized Rat SCN2.2 Cell Cultures. (Master's Thesis)
- Martinez, Veronica Giselle (2003-05). Cellular and molecular correlates of neural morphallaxis in Lumbriculus variegatus. (Doctoral Dissertation)