Dr. Hussaini received his PhD in Neurobiology at Freie Universität Berlin, Germany. In his postdoctoral training here at Columbia University in the department of Neuroscience, he studied the function of hippocampal neurons (place cells) and entorhinal cortex neurons (grid cells) which are known to be important for memory and navigation. Dr. Hussaini’s lab is interested in the neurobiology of aging and Alzheimer’s disease. The aim of his lab is to understand the neural correlates of cognitive dysfunction by studying regions of the brain that are most vulnerable to aging and disease.
The entorhinal cortex-hippocampal (EC-HPC) circuit is a major network hub for memory and its neurons are among the first to be affected leading to impaired memory. Dr. Hussaini’s lab is using in vivo electrophysiology and optogenetic techniques in mice to study the neuronal (dys)function in the EC-HPC circuit. In collaboration with Dr Karen Duff the lab is using novel mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease that closely mimic pathologies and cognitive impairments seen in humans. The overarching goal of the lab is to be able to detect dysfunction in earlier stages of the disease and to restore cognitive function by manipulating neurons with optogenetic or electrical stimulation.