Alan Nighorn, Ph.D.

Professor and Department Head
University Distinguished Professor
(520) 621-9720 office
(520) 425-9917 cell
Rm 605 Gould-Simpson

Research Interests:

My laboratory focuses on understanding the molecular interactions that underlie the appropriate development and function of the olfactory system. Our current interest is a complete understanding of the role of neuromodulators such as nitric oxide, serotonin, and dopamine. Our ultimate goal is to understand how these neuromodulators affect the antennal lobe and lead to changes in the processing of olfactory cues and olfactory-based behaviors. Our approach is to take advantage of the experimental manipulations and rich electrophysiological and behavioral context available using the moth Manduca sexta as a model. We use optical recording, intracellular recording, multiunit extracellular recording, path clamp recording – both in-vivo and in cell culture – and behavioral assays including upwind flight and proboscis extension olfactory conditioned behaviors to investigate the function and development of the olfactory system.