Dr. Lane Bekar

Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology
College of Medicine
University of Saskatchewan
Tel: 306-966-1201
Fax: 306-966-6220
E-mail: lane.bekar@usask.ca

Academic Credentials

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Rochester Medical Center
Rochester, NY, United States
Ph.D., Department of Physiology, University of Saskatchewan
M.Sc., Department of Physiology, University of Saskatchewan
B.Sc. (Hons), University of Saskatchewan

Research Interests

  • Neuromodulators, glial cells, and neurodegeneration.

Neurodegenerative diseases are a growing concern in our aging population. Alzheimer disease is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada afflicting more than 300,000 Canadians at a cost of ~12 billion a year to Canadian tax payers. The number of Canadians suffering from Parkinson disease is estimated to be between 80 and 100 thousand. This means that %7e1 in 80 Canadians are afflicted with Alzheimer or Parkinson disease. Neurodegenerative diseases appear to have at their root a common loss of locus coeruleus (LC) neurons. The loss of LC neurons in aging and neurodegenerative disease is likely a key factor given its function in regulating CNS energy utilization, modulating thresholds for synaptic plasticity, providing neurotrophic/anti-inflammatory support and regulating blood flow.

My research focuses on evaluating the physiological/pathological aspects of the LC neuromodulatory network with a specific interest in the role played by glial cells. My projects center on whole animal and slice preparations with extracellular, ion selective, electrochemical and patch-clamp electrophysiological recording techniques combined with multiphoton, intrinsic optical signal (IOS) and voltage-sensitive dye (VSD) imaging techniques. Whole animal work is complemented by studies using live mouse brain slices to further delineate and characterize electrophysiological and pharmacological mechanisms.