Episodic memory is a remarkable cognitive function that allows us to recall specific life events with details of when and where they occurred. However, these initial memories are often fragile and require consolidation for long-term retention. Despite its significance, the mechanisms underlying the consolidation of episodic memories in the brain remains poorly understood. In our research group, our primary focus is to uncover the cellular and circuitry mechanisms that underlie episodic memory consolidation in the hippocampus. Employing advanced in vivo electrophysiological recordings and optical tools, we investigate single-neuron dynamics, neuronal population coding properties, and the role of neuromodulation during spatial memory consolidation. Our ultimate aim is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the neuronal mechanisms that contribute to impaired episodic memory formation, which is a key feature of early-onset Alzheimer's disease.
Xiaomin Zhang is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at the Brain Research Institute. Her academic journey began with a Bachelor’s degree in biomedicine and a Master's degree in Neuroscience, both earned in China. Subsequently, she pursued her Ph.D. studies under the mentorship of Prof. Andreas Draguhn at the University of Heidelberg in Germany. During her postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Science and Technology in Austria, she established in vivo whole-cell patch-clamp recording techniques in head-fixed behaving animals under the guidance of Prof. Peter Jonas. Dr. Zhang is the recipient of the prestigious SNSF Prima Fellowship and the Synapsis Foundation Career Development Award.