Farzan Nadim, assistant professor of mathematical sciences, hopes to gain insights into neurological disorders such as epilepsy by studying the rhythmic motor patterns responsible for chewing and digesting of food in stomachs of crabs and lobsters. He is interested in how properties of neurons and their synaptic dynamics shape the output of oscillory neural networks. With grant support from the National Institutes of Health, he uses computational, analytical and experimental techniques to gain a better understanding of how synaptic dynamics such as short-term depression and facilitation contribute to the generation and control of uninterrupted patterns of neuron activity.
He also part of a multi-institutional team funded by an NSF grant to produce a comprehensive model of the small neuronal network in the crustacean central nersous system that has been studied extensively. The NJIT team, which includes Drs. Nadim, Jorge Golowasch and Amithaba Bose, has the task of coordinating research from eight laboratories and combining their findings.
Dr. Nadim is also collaborating with researchers from Ben-Gurion University in Israel and Brandeis University in Massachusetts in a study that examines the effects of the chemical actions of neuromodulators in the small rhythmic neuronal network. This study is supported by the United States-Israel Binational Science Foundation.