Anne West headshot
Principal Investigator
Professor of Neurobiology
Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
Member of the Duke Cancer Institute
Contact Information

Office: 301D Bryan Research

Campus mail: Box 3209, Durham, NC 27710

Phone: (919) 681-1909

Email address: west@neuro.duke.edu

Location
355 Bryan Research

West Lab

Transcriptional Mechanisms of Activity-Dependent Synapse Development and Plasticity

In the West lab we study the molecular mechanisms and biological consequences of stimulus-regulated transcription in the CNS. The brain is a highly adaptable organ that is capable of converting environmental information into changes in neuronal function. Transcriptional regulators play an essential role in this process by transducing synaptic activity into changes in the regulation of neuronal gene expression programs that are required for the formation, maturation, and plasticity of synapses.

We use molecular genetic model systems, sophisticated behavioral analyses, biochemical and cell biological methods, and high-throughput sequencing techniques to elucidate the mechanisms by which transcriptional regulatory proteins promote neuronal adaptations to changes in the environment. In addition to enhancing understanding of normal brain development and plasticity, our studies are revealing new insights into how dysregulation of gene transcription contributes to cognitive impairment and mental illness.

West Lab Projects

West Lab Projects

We study the molecular mechanisms and biological consequences of stimulus-regulated transcription in the CNS. The brain is a highly adaptable organ that is capable of converting environmental information into changes in neuronal function. Transcriptional regulators play an essential role in this process by transducing synaptic activity into changes in the regulation of neuronal gene expression programs that are required for the formation, maturation, and plasticity of synapses.

Transcriptional Regulation of Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF)

Methyl-DNA Complex Protein 2 (MeCP2) in Monoamine-Regulated Neuronal Plasticity

Epigenomics of Neuronal Development

New Technologies for Studying Activity-Regulated Neuronal Transcription

West Lab Members

Adjunct Assistant Professor
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Student

West Lab Photos

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West Publications

Tremblay, Martine W., Matthew V. Green, Benjamin M. Goldstein, Andrew I. Aldridge, Jill A. Rosenfeld, Haley Streff, Wendy D. Tan, et al. “Mutations of the histone linker H1-4 in neurodevelopmental disorders and functional characterization of neurons expressing C-terminus frameshift mutant H1.4.” Hum Mol Genet 31, no. 9 (May 4, 2022): 1430–42. https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddab321.


Gallegos, David A., Melyssa Minto, Fang Liu, Mariah F. Hazlett, S. Aryana Yousefzadeh, Luke C. Bartelt, and Anne E. West. “Cell-type specific transcriptional adaptations of nucleus accumbens interneurons to amphetamine.” Mol Psychiatry, February 16, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-022-01466-1.


Gemberling, Matthew P., Keith Siklenka, Erica Rodriguez, Katherine R. Tonn-Eisinger, Alejandro Barrera, Fang Liu, Ariel Kantor, et al. “Transgenic mice for in vivo epigenome editing with CRISPR-based systems.” Nat Methods 18, no. 8 (August 2021): 965–74. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41592-021-01207-2.


Chan, Urann, Diwas Gautam, and Anne E. West. “Utilizing In Vivo Postnatal Electroporation to Study Cerebellar Granule Neuron Morphology and Synapse Development.” J Vis Exp, no. 172 (June 9, 2021). https://doi.org/10.3791/62568.


Green, Matthew V., and Anne E. West. “TRPing into excitotoxic neuronal death.” Cell Calcium 93 (January 2021): 102331. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ceca.2020.102331.


Chen, Liang-Fu, Michelle R. Lyons, Fang Liu, Matthew V. Green, Nathan G. Hedrick, Ashley B. Williams, Arthy Narayanan, Ryohei Yasuda, and Anne E. West. “The NMDA receptor subunit GluN3A regulates synaptic activity-induced and myocyte enhancer factor 2C (MEF2C)-dependent transcription.” J Biol Chem 295, no. 25 (June 19, 2020): 8613–27. https://doi.org/10.1074/jbc.RA119.010266.


Nord, Alex S., and Anne E. West. “Neurobiological functions of transcriptional enhancers.” Nat Neurosci 23, no. 1 (January 2020): 5–14. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41593-019-0538-5.


Swahari, Vijay, and Anne E. West. “Histone demethylases in neuronal differentiation, plasticity, and disease.” Curr Opin Neurobiol 59 (December 2019): 9–15. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.conb.2019.02.009.


West, Anne E. “Activity-Dependent Transcription Collaborates with Local Dendritic Translation to Encode Stimulus-Specificity in the Genome Binding of NPAS4.” Neuron 104, no. 4 (November 20, 2019): 634–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuron.2019.10.022.


Tonn Eisinger, Katherine R., and Anne E. West. “Transcribing Memories in Genome Architecture.” Trends Neurosci 42, no. 9 (September 2019): 565–66. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tins.2019.06.002.

Contact/Join West Lab

West Lab Job openings

Nov. 15, 2021. The West Lab seeks highly qualified postdoctoral applicants to pursue studies of epigenome editing in mouse and human neurons. You can see some of our work in this area in PMID 34341582. PhD or MD with experience in either neurobiology or molecular biology/genomics is preferred. We seek innovators who want to use novel genomic technologies to rigorously answer exciting questions in neuronal development, plasticity, or disease. Send a letter of interest with your CV and names of three references to Anne West at west@neuro.duke.edu.

Nov. 15, 2021. The West Lab is looking to hire a research technician to join our projects working with human neurons. Position is available immediately. The ideal candidate will have cell culture experience and a working understanding of molecular biology. Great option for new college graduate seeking a 1-2 year position before applying to medical or graduate school. Send a letter of interest with your CV and names of three references to Anne West at west@neuro.duke.edu.

Anne E. West, M.D., Ph.D.

Professor
Department of Neurobiology

Email: west@neuro.duke.edu

Phone: 919-681-1909

Location: 301D Bryan Research