Dr. Joshua Singer is Chair and Professor of the Department of Biology.


  • PhD
    Physiology and Biophysics, University of Washington, 1998

Generally, I want to understand how the output of a neural circuit reflects the behaviors of the individual synapses and neurons that compose it. The mammalian retina is a model circuit well suited to the study of this issue: it is well-characterized anatomically and physiologically, but the nature of synaptic transmission between its component neurons is understood poorly. Specifically, my laboratory studies a specialized group of  neurons that compose a retinal circuit called the rod bipolar cell pathway. From our studies, we hope not only to understand signaling within the rod bipolar pathway but also to generate a broader understanding of how the properties of neurons and their synapses give rise to circuit behavior. Our work is of interest to sensory neuroscientists specifically and to neuroscientists generally: the former because it relates to the coding of sensory information by ribbon synapses and retinal circuits and the latter because it provides an understanding of the basic principles of synaptic communication between neurons and neural circuit function. 

Research Methods
Fluorescence Imaging
Research Interests
Synaptic Transmission
Neural Circuits

Current Students

Dr. Joshua Singer
3210 Biology-Psychology Building
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
jhsinger [at] umd.edu