A neuron expressing a reporter gene for a synaptic protein fused to GFP and TimeSTAMP. Proteins synthesized from the reporter gene after the time of drug addition appear red.



Michael Z. Lin

M.D., Ph.D.


UCSD, CMM West 310
9500 Gilman Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92093-0647



My research interests are in studying molecular mechanisms of synaptic plasticity and learning by devising new tools that expand the kinds of questions that can be asked. I am particularly interested in the development of techniques that are generalizable, useful, and robust enough for in vivo use in animals. My current work in the Tsien lab has involved combining chemical and biological components to create a drug-controlled label for specific newly synthesized proteins with high sensitivity and time resolution. We are calling this tool TimeSTAMP, for Time-Specific Tag for the Age Measurement of Proteins. I am applying TimeSTAMP to study the molecular mechanisms of synaptic growth in neuronal culture and to visualize synaptic plasticity processes in animal models of learning. I have also developed a method for the drug-controlled co-translational degradation of any protein of interest. In the future, these tools may be useful for investigating neuronal recovery and controlling gene- or cell-based therapies